Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Have you ever asked yourself, "Why Do I Worry?"
When my daughter was about 4 years old, she fell while running away from me one night, right before bedtime. She was so cute. She said, "Mommy, you can't catch me!" But as she turned to run away, a mother's worst nightmare happened right before my eyes. Her feet slipped out from under her and she fell, face-first on our wooden dining room floor!
As she began to cry, I screamed for my husband who came running. He grabbed her and as he turned her over, we could already see the blood. It came streaming down from her mouth, as her tiny, two front teeth were literally hanging by a thread. She had knocked both of them backward.
We rushed her to the hospital right away. My husband was a rock. I, on the other hand, was not. They took her into the emergency dental department and asked for one of us to hold her down while they wrapped her in a papoose-like straight jacket to keep her from moving. They would extract then suture her up.
It was pretty clear from my queasy, ashen face that I would not be the one called upon. They had me leave the room because I thought I was going to faint. My husband had to hold our little girl's head still as she screamed in pain and fear, begging her dad to make them stop.
I sunk to the floor outside the door, almost having a panic attack. I had never felt such fear in my life. All I could do was bawl my heart out to God, crying out to Him to help my little girl and husband. Right then, the question popped into my mind, "Why are you worrying?" Can you imagine the moment? I pretty much sneered at the question, "Are you joking? Don't you see what's happening, God?!"
Remarkably, the surgery was over before I knew it. They came out to tell me she was ok. I could hardly go in to see her little swollen face, already turning black and blue. She was such a trooper! All she heard was that the Tooth Fairy was going to be extra generous tonight. I even had a special Tooth Fairy pillowcase ready for her, which made her so happy.
As Ellie healed, her doctor and dentist advised that she was young to lose those two front teeth and raised concerns. The gap could lead to further issues as her adult teeth came in. There was the possibility that she would suffer ridicule from her peers, since Ellie would have this gap for a few years before all her classmates began losing them as well.
They recommended a flipper which is a removable partial denture. All I could do was worry about what to do! What was best for her? Would she suffer at the hands of unkind children? Would her future adult set of teeth be affected?
Well, I'm here to tell you that after much prayer and discussion, we decided we would allow her to go without the flipper and navigate her through the peer pressure as she got older. It became a bit of a problem with her speech because without the front teeth, her tongue was not used to sitting correctly and she began developing a lisp. Sure, it was cute but my mind wandered to worrying about unkind children.
All in all, she did not really suffer. It became a lesson where she learned resilience. Her adult teeth did come in crowded which led to extractions and braces but now, her smile is beautiful!
I did struggle with worry over this situation for many years as she grew up. We did have to suffer through countless questions when strangers saw how young she was without teeth. I would doubt and second guess our decisions. I learned how worry could strangle you if allowed to go on unchecked.
You can become overwhelmed by the circumstances that come in life. I have many friends that struggle with anxiety. I hate the token phrases thrown at them that "God has not given us a spirit of fear..." although we grasp onto that truth, it's easier said than done.
But Jesus does teach us in Matthew 6 how useless worry is. What can you accomplish by worrying? It becomes a weight on your shoulders. There comes a time as it did in this situation with my daughter, that you must get alone with God, seek and ask Him to help while reminding yourself to focus on His goodness. It's always helped me to use scripture and gratitude in my prayer time.
It's during these times of prayer that I realized the weight lifted off of my shoulders because He took it from me. I use this one often:
Cast all your worries and cares on God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7
The situation with my daughter was not the last time I would encounter this kind of emergency in our lives. Our youngest son, Aaron, suddenly could not walk. One minute our 5-year-old was running and playing, the next...crying on the ground that he couldn't get up! I screamed for my husband again and away we ran to the emergency room. This time it was a build-up of fluid surrounding his hip joint and doctors said he needed it to be drained by an enormous needle.
But THIS time, I was ready! As the doctor left the room, my husband and I turned to each other and and said, "Oh no he won't!!" We laid hands on that boy and prayed that God would spare him from such agony. The next time the doctors came in to CT Scan him, they said the fluid was gone and he would NOT need the procedure!!
What was the difference? Yes, God was there through both situations but my immediate reaction the second time was to put my faith in God. I fought the initial fear. I put my trust in God to provide a miracle!
I pray that during these next few months of extremely difficult things ahead, you will join me as I learn from Jesus who said, "Therefore, do not worry."
I trust because He has shown me His faithfulness. Try it. Put your trust in Him. He is trustworthy.