In the UK, the first lockdown began on 23rd March last year, a year ago to the day. The news tells us that it’s been very similar all around the world. And during this prolonged and difficult time of living with so much uncertainty, I wonder if there is any one of us who, if we’re honest, hasn’t had moments of worry over the pandemic… whether it’s been about a family member or friend becoming sick, our own health, elderly parents, children and their education, work, finances, relationships or something else.
As Christians, we know God has been, and is, with us. We know He’s good and He’s faithful. We recognise the common-sense truth of Jesus’ words in our verse for today, ‘Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?’ And yet, so often, we still hold on to worries that rob us of peace, as they churn round and round, gnawing away inside.
Perhaps it’s to do with being in a situation that’s out of our power to control, which has certainly been the case for us all over this past year. By worrying, are we trying to somehow gain back some control… trying hard to fix what, in reality, we can’t… perhaps thinking through every possible eventuality, with the vain hope that, somehow, we might come up with a solution … or at the very least, prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome?
It’s not that our heart’s desire isn’t to trust God. And we might even impatiently tell ourselves at times, to “stop worrying and trust God!” But, like the worrying itself, if we are doing that in our own strength, it doesn’t work.
Thankfully, our Father God is so much more compassionate than we often are on ourselves. He understands our struggle and wants to help, lovingly encouraging us in His Word to ‘give all our worries and cares to Him, for he cares about us’ (1 Peter 5:7, NLT). That’s Him, tenderly reaching out His hand, the Father to His child, wanting to teach us how to trust Him and totally rely on Him with even our biggest worry.
Looking at David’s example in the Psalms. There are many occasions when he poured out his worries and cares to God, and he didn’t hold back! He said it like it was, just as you would to a good friend whom you really trust isn’t going to judge you. David expressed his raw emotion to God and, as he learnt this is vital key, he reminded himself, ‘Truly my soul finds rest in God… He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.’ And, he goes on to exhort us to ‘pour out your hearts to Him’ (Psalm 62:1, 2 & 8).
Why not find some time today to do exactly that, in a very practical way, either speaking out to Father God in prayer, being honest and real about those things that are weighing heavy on your heart or following David’s example and pouring out your worries and the emotion of them to Him on to a piece of paper through writing, perhaps even writing your own psalm, or painting or drawing. Even doodling can be a valuable tool to express our worries to our heavenly Father and allowing Him to then draw us into that place of perfect peace that can only be found in Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that even when worry seems to be eating me up inside, You have a place of rest I can come into, a place of rest for my soul. Please help me to be honest with You today about my deepest worries and cares, to give them to You and trust them to You, so that I can truly know that You are my rock and my fortress, and know that in that safe place in You I can never be shaken. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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