As March marches on beauty breaks out all around. Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils signal Spring sprung and the scent of summer. Alas, unwelcome weeds accompany the beauty. In time dandelions will run amok and threaten to take over our gardens. Weeds might be ‘a plant in the wrong place’, but they’re in ‘the wrong place’! Like weeds, ‘worries’ are plants in the wrong place.
Some of us are more prone to worry than others, but succumbing to anxiety’s seeds, watered and fed by our imagination, is unhelpful and unnecessary. Max Lucado writes, “Worrying is not a disease but it causes diseases. It has been connected to high blood pressure, heart trouble, blindness, migraine headaches, thyroid malfunctions and a host of stomach disorders.” Enough to put you off worrying?
The Bible is consistent in its command ‘not to worry’. Easier said than done, I know, but ‘worry’ is irreverent, irrelevant and irresponsible. Worrying mistrusts God and denies God is in charge. Worrying is to be conned into thinking that it can change things for the better, it won’t! Worrying misspends our energies, time and talents. Here’s some of Jesus advice:
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:30-34 / MSG)
The 23rd Psalm shows, it’s all about letting God take the ‘lead’ in daily life and living, “…he leads me beside still waters…” Do you let God take the lead? Disciplines of: Sabbath (stopping work to worship and rest in God’s ‘in-chargeness’), Sleep (starting each day by submitting our head to slumber and soul into God’s care), and Silence (Quiet Time listening to God’s Word and praying) are 3 God-given aids to weeding out worry, carving out the necessary time and space to ‘Cast all our cares on God’ (1 Peter5:7); ‘Consider’ how much God cares for us; and ‘Count’ our many blessings.
Coronavirus must be fought and responsibly dealt with. We all have concerns pressing in on us. Jesus is absolutely right, I cannot add an inch to my height, hour to my day or change to any situation by worrying. As the hymn puts it, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” ‘Worry’ is a plant in the wrong place and God has a big Brown Bin (Garden Refuse) wide open, ready to receive our ‘worry weeds’. My worries are most certainly better in God’s hands than my mind’s garden!!! What about yours?