Sunday, March 13, 2016

Worry: A thief of Joy

You might say we have a perfect life. Ten years of marriage, four healthy little children,  an exciting move into a new home. Of course we've had our problems, but our blessings far outweigh the troubles we've encountered, and we have been very blessed.

However, I admit that since the day my first baby was placed into my hands, I've always worried that all this was too good to be true. That I was blessed with so much, that some measure of sorrow must be given. That perhaps one day, I might be like Job, and have some of these precious people, or things wretched away from me. Like most parents, we fretted when we discovered troubling health symptoms in our children, and we worried about major illnesses. (Recently, we had to do an ultrasound on Baby J, as there was a possibility she had spinal bifida.) We worried about their education, after making the decision to homeschool.  We had sleepless nights, after all the issues and mess-ups that occurred during the process to purchase our home.

Today, I sat in church listening to the sermon, one hand trying to feed a baby who strained and kicked. I didn't manage to follow through the sermon, since I had to nurse and then change the baby. One particular thing though, caught my attention. My pastor shared about how a father he knew found so much joy in the birth of his son. However, this father could not really enjoy his son, simply because he was so worried that something might happen to his little one. My pastor shared that sometimes we might be like that father, and reminded us that God is not a bully, someone out there maliciously planning to trip us up. This really hit home, since there have been so many times where I've let my worries get in the way of enjoying my blessings. In a sense, I was like an overly suspicious person, who receives a wonderful gift. Instead of enjoying that gift, I would hold it gingerly with two fingers, and ask "now, what's the catch?".

I've had less problem trusting God in the tough times, of which we've had our fair share. Our world is a fallen world, and I know that pain, loss, illness & death a part of our sinful inheritance. However, while I was able to look to God when things are difficult, I was still not fully convinced of His goodness to enjoy the blessings He has bestowed. Because I didn't know God truly as the good God that He was, I let worry into my heart, and it robbed me of joy.

When Birds Worry 
When the birds begin to worry 
And the lilies toil and spin, 
And God’s creatures all are anxious, 
Then I also may begin. 

For my Father sets their table, 
Decks them out in garments fine, 
And if He supplies their living, 
Will He not provide for mine? 

Just as noisy, common sparrows 
Can be found most anywhere
Unto some just worthless creatures, 
If they perish who would care? 

Yet our Heavenly Father numbers 
Every creature great and small, 
Caring even for the sparrows. 
Marking when to earth they fall. 

If His children’s hairs are numbered, 
Why should we be filled with fear? 
He has promised all that’s needful, 
And in trouble to be near.

- Anon

Today, I am reminded to enjoy my children and my blessings, and to give thanks to the Giver, while trusting that He who gives good gifts also holds our tomorrows. May we continue to keep looking to Him!

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