1 Peter 5: 7
Former Yankees and Rangers outfielder Mickey Rivers was quite the character. He had a lot of oddball phrases. One of the most convoluted also held the most truth. Rivers said:
“Ain't no sense worryin' about the things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'. And ain't no sense worryin' about the things you don't got control over, 'cause if you don't got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'.”
Run that through your mind a couple of times to understand what it says. Then you'll see an interesting fact. There are things we can control and things we can't control. If you've got a handle on things, don't worry! If you can't do anything about the situation, don't worry!
For a more easily understood statement on worry, let's turn to English clergyman George Muller. He was notable for founding an orphanage and for reading the entire Bible 200 times - on his knees! Muller was credited with the following saying:
"The beginning of worry is the end of faith, and the beginning of faith is the end of worry."
I drew a picture at the top of this devotional to sort through what this means in my mind. Worry and faith intersect in the middle. Where one ends, one begins.
But I feel like we live our lives in the middle, our minds alternating between worry and faith in that orange-ish area. Depending on the situation, depending on the severity, depending on our mood or how we're feeling otherwise, we may lean toward worry or toward faith.
The trick is to more firmly put our faith in the One who holds all things in His hands. That should be the end of our worry.
My favorite verses in the Bible tend to be related to worry: Matthew 6: 25-34. Philippians 4: 6-7. Matthew 11: 28-30. And one that is simply put and keeps coming to mind recently, 1 Peter 5: 7, which reads:
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
When I'm most successful in "faithing" rather than "worrying," it's when I follow this verse. Sometimes I'm lying in bed and cannot simmer down for sleep, thinking about different worries. I can (often) defeat this sensation by simply laying all of those anxieties at the feet of Jesus, asking him to care for them until morning, when I pick them up again. (Of course, it's better not to pick them up again at all!) I contemplate this verse, how God didn't intend for us to worry so much, and to instead cast our anxieties on Him. God has the broadest shoulders and can carry our worries easily. In fact, we bring His power to bear when, in our weakness, we cry out for help.
I want to contemplate this whole idea further, how the beginning of worry is the end of faith, and how the beginning of faith is the end of worry. I hope you will join me in pondering what it means in your own life. I pray that you'll "power down" your worry as you "power up" your faith, sliding on my improvised scale from the red side to the green side. And I urge you to do so, not through gritting your teeth to stop your worrying, but by casting your cares onto the Lover of your Soul.
IF YOUR SMALL GROUP is looking for fall curriculum, please check out “The Next Thing”. This is my new video series and book; more info at CecilTaylorMinistries.com/the-next-thing. Scroll down to the orange box to watch the first lesson of the video series for free!