My Big Box of Troubles

It’s been almost three years since Mom passed away unexpectedly and, since that time, I have thought a lot about her life.  The distance has given me a unique perspective on how I want to spend my remaining years.  While I try to emulate all of her wonderful traits, there is one habit that I don’t want to copy.

I noticed that my mother, and my grandmother, had a tendency to worry.  It seems like a lot of time was spent speculating and being concerned about the future and I find myself falling into that habit, too.  When my daughters were younger, I would find myself waking up at night and worrying about bills, about the kids, about my parents, about my job – it was endless.  In the middle of the night concerns loom large and seem insurmountable.  Of course, daylight comes and they are again manageable.  One of the things I tried was to designate Wednesday as the day I worried.  I would tell myself, “I’ll worry about it on Wednesday.”  Usually, by Wednesday the problem had disappeared or was solved.

My mom was diagnosed with diabetes in her late thirties and I remember her telling me that she prayed she would be able to live until my youngest brother, Gary, a toddler at the time, finished high school.  Not only did she live until his graduation, she also lived long enough to see Gary’s oldest child, Jordan, graduate as well.  All of that time spent worrying when she could have had peace of mind.  Mom also worried about outliving Dad and she had taken out several small insurance policies on his life.  As it turned out, he outlived her.  All of that worrying – the concerns and the sleepless nights – what purpose did they serve?

Studies have shown that 85% of the things we worry about never come to pass.  The Bible has a lot to say on the topic.  When I googled “cast your cares,” I found 83 Bible verses that tell us to “cast your burden on Yahweh,” “fear not,” and “for those who love Yahweh all things work together for good.”  My favorite verse (that I often say to myself) is Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to Yahweh.”

While I often talked to Mom about her constant worrying, I didn’t get very far.  I saw the toll it took on her, interrupting her sleep (she would often write letters in the night when she was awake) and her health.  My dad, who had such a close relationship with Yahweh, would read the Psalms and fall asleep easily and peacefully.  I want to have that kind of security, knowing that Yahweh is holding me in the palm of His hand.

Do I still have “worry Wednesdays”? No.  These days I don’t even want to deal with worries on Wednesday.  I mentally throw my concerns into a big, big box.  I put the lid on it, tie it shut, and ask Yahweh to handle them.  When they start to interrupt my sleep or disturb me during the day, I tell myself that Yahweh is taking care of them.  If the Creator of the universe is taking care of those burdens, my heart can be trouble free and unafraid (John 1:2-4).

by: Linda Lowe

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