Monday, May 21, 2012

A Mother's Worry

I have been reading through a book my mother gave me, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, By Joanna Weaver.  Its hard to read much with a house full of kids, but am trying to read a little each day since we are on our summer schedule.  It has been a real blessing.  Yesterday I was talking to someone who was telling me about how much she worries about her children and grandchildren.  I know how easy it is to get wrapped up into worrying about our loved ones! {Spiritual, emotional and physical concerns!}  The section I read in the book today directly addressed this exact topic! {Funny how that works!}

Here is an excerpt from chapter 3 under the section titled, "Worry versus concern":

"Concern:                                                    Worry:
* Involves a ligitimate threat                         * Is often unfounded
* Is specific (one thing)                                * Is generalized (spreads to many things)
* Addresses the problem                             * Obsesses about the problem
* Solves problems                                       * Creates more problems
*Looks to God for answer                           * Looks to self or other people for answers

"Pastor and teacher Gary E. Gilley sums up the difference like this: 'Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God.  It is the view that God has somehow lost control of the situation and we cannot trust Him.  A legitimate concern presses us closer to the heart of God and causes us to lean and trust Him all the more.' {Gary E. Gilley, "think on These Things" newsletter 4, no. 2 (February 1998).}

"Concern draws us to God.  Worry pulls us from him.  I think this distinction is especially helpful for those of us who tend to spiritualize worry, convincing ourselves that it's our duty to fret about such things as the state of the world, our finances, or our futures.  Oswald Chambers put it this way in My Utmost for His Highest:

                   'Fussing always ends in sin.  We imagine that a little anxiety and worry
                   are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indica-
                   tion of how really wicked we are.  Fretting springs from a determination
                   to get our own way.  Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious,
                   because He was not "out" to realize His own idea;  He was "out" to
                   realize God's ideas.  Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God....
                   All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.'
                   {Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (1935; reprint, Uhrichsville,
                    Ohio: Barbour, n.d.), 135}

"That's something we all need to remember when it comes to this issue of worry.  We face legitimate concerns every day of our lives.  But instead of fretting, instead of worrying, we need to focus on discerning what we can do (with God's help) and what should be left entirely up to God.  Even more important, we need to keep our focus on who God is and what God can do." {Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver, Copyright 2002, Waterbrook Press, pages 38, 39}

I am so guilty of worrying!  I mean, I have 8 children to worry about, a husband who is on the road for 60 hours each week, elderly parents who are prone to falling and forgetting important things, quite a number of unsaved relatives....  "What if robbers come in the night while Dallas is gone?  I don't even have a dog anymore to warn me!"  "What if I am not prepared for {fill in the blank!}"  "What if something happens to Dallas and I am left to take care of this family by myself?"  The list goes on, and on, and on.  The list could go on forever!  But I can't think about things like that, but rather, trust the Lord in all things!  Two of the most valuable verses I memorized as a child is Philippians 4:6-7  "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  I quote these verses to myself often, but not often enough!  I still worry!  This book is such an encouragement to me.  I would encourage every woman to read it!

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post and one that really hits home with me! Blessings to you and your family and thank you for sharing your thoughts!