A friend texted me at 6:05 this morning, in response to reading Psalm 37:8 and the July 4 entry in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest: “What I worry about is then also an indication of what I have not surrendered to God.”
He’s right. We all worry about something all the time. Psalm 37:8 says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret— it only causes harm” (NKJV). Another verse along the same idea is Isaiah 26:3: “You [i.e. God] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (ESV).
We worry about things that are important to us–income, our children, health, loved ones, appreciation and praise from others, the need to be right, our home, our jobs–the list is literally endless. When we worry, we don’t have peace. I lose count how many times I have tossed and turned at night worrying about something.
Psalm 37:8 teaches that fretting or worrying causes harm. Worry causes us to react strongly to whatever threatens what we’re worrying about, sometimes in lashing out in anger, fear, and anxiety at those whom we perceive are threatening what we care about and we cause harm and broken relationships.
Taking it a step further, it reveals how we related to our Parent in heaven. Is it a truly trusting relationship? Do we believe that God is truly all powerful, all knowing, and all loving? Do we truly trust that he takes perfect care of what we worry about?
What we want or think that we need is not always best for us and the kingdom of God. Do we trust God for his judgment of what is best for us and the kingdom of God?
If we trust, then we have peace.
It’s easier said than done, I know, but we need to learn to trust our loving Parent in heaven more, even if it’s just a little bit more each day. The more we trust, the less we cause harm and the more we experience peace–shalom–for us and people we love.