Yesterday I took my son to the hospital to have a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. There was really nothing to be worried about, it’s a common procedure, quick and it doesn’t even require an over night stay.
Nothing to worry about, right?
It’s no big deal, really. A completely competent and trained nurse is going to escort my son away from me into a sterile surgery room where an anesthesiologist will then cover his mouth and nose, carefully watching him breath in super happy sleepy bubble gum gas until his eyes close shut. Then in a flash Dr Laser himself will swoop in with his mini light saber laser and within moments he will defeat the enormous tonsil and adenoid monsters. Within the hour they will be calling me back to be by his side as he awakens from the deep slumber, totally unaware of the laser show that just went off without a hitch inside his mouth!
Again I ask, nothing to worry about, right? Logically, no, but I am a mother and as a mother I have a “small” tendency to worry about my children, especially when they are going under the knife or in this case the laser! Well, my son taught me a lesson about my God today or more accurately God used my son to teach me a lesson about Him today.
Just before the nurse came in to take Robbie away my husband and I prayed over him and the doctor. Then I picked Robbie up, looked into his big hazel eyes told him I loved him and hugged him so tight. I wondered if he was scared, he didn’t act like it, he’d been jumping around and playing ever since we got to the hospital at 7am in the morning. So, I asked him anyway, “are you okay?” He smiled and said, “mhmm.” But, that wasn’t good enough, so I asked him “are you worried?” He hugged me and said, “nope!”
After he left I began thinking about the freedom a person would feel without worry. We say we trust God with everything, but then we put something into his more than capable hands and yet we still worry. In Matthew 6: 25-34 Jesus says… “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life. And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Five times Jesus tells us in these verses to “stop worrying”
Why is it so hard? What is worry anyway? If you peel away the layers that make up worry I think what you will find festering underneath is fear. More specifically, fear of the unknown. I wasn’t worried about Robbie’s surgery ending in a complete success, I was worried about something going wrong, something unusual that happens only once in a thousand cases. We are happy to rely on God and trust him with our lives as long as he’s working off of our game plan. But, we do know God, right… and knowing him means facing the fact that he’s got a plan of His own and that plan may very well include something unexpected and sometimes undesirable to us. We may experience temporary discomfort emotionally or physically or both. His plan may be that we are thrust right into the midst of a life trial.
The truth about worry that we need to deal most with is the fact that it is sin. Worry, says we don’t trust God, we are telling him that we don’t think he’s big enough to handle our issue. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we find some worthy advice on how to conquer worry… “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” If we humble ourselves under God’s almighty hand then we will accept His plan for our lives no matter what we have to go through. We will trust him no matter what His plan looks like or how it contradicts our own plans. If we are humbled before our Creator we will desire deeply to cast our anxieties only on him because we will know that is the only place we can truly exchange them for peace.
In her book “Calm My Anxious Heart” Linda Dillow says “Humility means to have total trust in God alone. It is the surrender of our total being – intellect, emotion, will, plans, and judgments. It is relinquishing everything. For me, humbling myself involves yielding to God as the Blessed Controller of whatever situation or person is causing me anxiety.”
I think being truly humble also means learning to be content, which is a life time pursuit with many failures and victories along the way. As the apostle Paul says… “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I love how Jeremiah Burrows defines true Christian contentment… "Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition"
I’m praying for us, mothers, women… we’re worriers aren’t we? I am praying that like a child, we may we boldly embrace a life free from the chains of sinful worry, free from selfish fear that gets in between us and our gracious Provider. I know the deepest parts of your core call out along with mine for an inner humility that allows us to live a life of complete contentment, a life of peace that comes only from Him.