It's like there's a daily quota and if I meet or exceed that quota on any given day, I can feel really good about the job I'm doing because worrying means that I care. I used to be mystified by all that talk about worrying mothers, but last week there I was, holding a feverish baby, worried that she wasn't going to sleep, then worried that she wouldn't wake up.
As though inherent maternal instincts weren't enough, we have The Internet helping us along: worry about helmets, worry about blankets, worry about adbuctions, worry for what kind of world or country we are leaving our children, worry about money, worry about if I should be buying more organic food, worry about arsenic in rice and the evils of wheat and kidney stones from kale (oh? you didn't know that one? maybe I just made it up, better check with Dr. Google just in case!), worry about vaccinations, worry, worry, worry. If worry were currency, the Internet would be making me rich.
I find myself weary at night despite a not-particularly-demanding day and I realize that it's because of worry. And I know that God in his Word tells me so much about worry, but here's maybe a new one for you on the subject.
In Ephesians 6, Paul has just finished giving a series of commands to different types of people, after a whole bunch of other exhortations to the whole body of Christ. There is a lot involved in being faithful, and Paul goes on at the end of the book to remind us that we can't do any of it without "God's mighty power." And this, what a great line for a mom at the end of the day, when everyone and everything are put to rest except her mind: "And after you have done everything, to stand."
The rush of the day may be over, but your mind is a battlefield between self and the peace that surpasses understanding.
Remember that this is being spoken to you by the seated Commander in Chief, who stood firm and then took a seat as he pronounced, "It is finished." With that "finished," he means that all the bad we could possibly fear has been vanquished and the fact of the matter is, no ounce of worry is going to make things come out better for you than they are going to come out through Christ.
Take a deep breath and say "okay" to God. You've been faithful today; he knows your weak frame, and he's taken care of the rest, even when it seems like an awfully big gap between "me" and "good enough." What truth do you need to apply to your life right now? Where are you finding your righteousness? Where do you need to place your faith more fully in the Lord's mighty power? Pick up some armor of God to help you do one simple thing: to stand. And, in that stand, take another deep breath and rest.
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (Ephesians 6:10-18, The Message)