Core scripture: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Message: The worry crippled him. Anxiety cloaked my son a few Saturdays ago. The “what ifs” were pouring into his fourth-grade mind, spreading like stage four cancer. What if Mommy and Daddy got into a wreck? What if they don’t come home? What if my brother and I will never see them again? We were a tad late on our errands, and as my wife called home to let our boys know we were on the way, a tear-filled voice answered the call.
“Mommy, where are you?”
We were baffled. Why was he worried so much? What sprung this morbid thought that we had died in a car crash? Ever since that day my son has been fighting temptations to worry daily. God has provided me an opportunity to share scripture with him to fight it. The Philippians verse above is great. 1 Peter 5:7 is wonderful as well: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I prayed over him. Rubbed his back. Sang him to sleep like we used to.
As he drifted off to slumber, my wife and I whispered about his worry in bed. We knew the truth behind it. God had this! He would never forsake my little one. God was wrapping him up in His loving arms. As these truths poured in, I began to feel a bit like a hypocrite. Satan had been attacking me with what ifs at school as my students prepared to get back to full-time in person learning.
What if you can’t find enough seats to fit my largest class? What if the new seating arrangements blow up in your face? What if a student or parent complains about social distancing? What if the kids don’t adjust well to the new learning environment? What if I am pulling the few stubbles of hair remaining on my head out in sheer frustration, wondering how this is all going to work?
As Max Lucado once said, “Anxiety is like a meteor shower of what ifs.”
All this worry. For what? Our first day back yesterday went just fine. The kids rejoiced in seeing A Day and B Day kids together for the first time. They all were masked and safe, distanced as best they could be. There was a sense of normality. I had taught PLENTY of in-person classes with 24 kids (my largest class) through the years. And the biggest blessing of all … I now got to see these kids daily, not having to worry about hybrid learning.
You ever have those moments? God has guided me through countless seasons of worry in my life before. Would He ever stop? His Word tells me to trust. Not to fear. To put my full confidence in His ability to navigate any obstacle before me. In Psalm 32:8 God reminds us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Why let worry cloud my mind when I have a God that cares for me that much?
All I need to do is let Him take the wheel.
Challenge: Reflect on whatever worry consumes you. Think about the following questions: How could God be working this for the good? What good might come out of my current situation? What times before did God pull me through? Will He ever stop caring for me?
Prayer points: Lift the following areas up to the Lord this week …
- Pray that God will dissolve your worry with wholehearted trust.
- Pray that I can continue to speak these truths to my son.
- Praise God that the first week of full-time in person is off to a great start!
Song application: “Sparrows” by Jason Gray
You can’t add a single day by worrying
You’ll worry your life away
Oh don’t worry your life away
You can’t change a single thing by freaking out
It’s just gonna close you in
Oh don’t let the trouble win
You may feel alone
But you’re not on your own
If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow
Just for fun: Analogy of the day … Making a seating chart is like making a battle plan for war. You just don’t know where those mines are going to blow up!
Prayer: Father, allow your peace to consume me, dissolving all worry inside me. Help me trust in Your perfect plan. Amen.