Saturday, April 2, 2011

Don't Worry by Ed Thomas

This encouraging thought was posted on Facebook by my friend Ed Thomas.  Thanks Ed for allowing me to share this.  - Joel

When I think about not worrying a famous couple comes to mind – Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King. You probably remember their motto – "Hakuna matata." Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that is literally translated as "there are no worries.” Timon and Pumbaa’s source of not worrying was based on a carefree lifestyle with no planning and a “just-take-life-as-it-comes” philosophy.

While Timon and Pumbaa had the right idea in not worrying, I’m not sure their motivation for not worrying is what God intended in Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

This is a direct command (“Do not”) for everything situation (“about anything”). God then tells us what to do instead – pray! We all have worries at work, at home, financial – it is natural for us to worry. But God tells us to give our worries to Him. And then He makes a promise – He will provide us peace. Peace not from positive thinking but knowing that God is in control of our lives and circumstances. We really have two choices: One, worry and get all the attributes that come along with it – being stressed, headaches, ulcers, anxiety, etc. Or two, pray and give the situation to God and allow His eternal peace to fill you with hope.

This doesn’t mean we don’t plan and prepare. God wants us to plan and to prepare. He just wants us to then give the situation to Him and trust Him. He also wants us to hold onto our plans loosely – our plans may not be His plans. As he tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 we can trust His plans: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This does not promise we won’t face adversity or trials (actually He says we will face trials – see James 1:1), but God will see us through those trials.

I love how Francis Chan in Crazy Love describes the first option – he calls it justified stress: “When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the (my) circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a right to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities….Basically, these two behaviors (worry and stress) communicate that it is okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.”

Wow.  What do you think? I would love to hear what helps you to not worry.

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