Saturday, August 19, 2006

Worry Warts

Do not fret because of evil men. Psalm 37:1

Are you a worry wart? I am at times.

The original meaning of the word “worry” is to strangle or choke. Anxiety attacks, agitations, fretting, hand wringing, sleepless nights, illnesses — all may be seedlings of worry.

Many Bible heroes had difficult tasks; did their faith ever wobble, causing them to agonize? Did Noah worry in the years he prepared the ark of refuge? Did Mrs. Noah fear losing her solid-foundation house? Was she disturbed about shipmates, about floating with elephants and tigers? Oh, my!

God gave an exact blueprint for the huge ark but did Noah’s clan doubt their ship building skills? And, water falling from the sky, what would that be like? Worry invades and destroys.

A friend shared an observation from their cardiologist friend Lindsay. In his home for 13 years he cared for his wife Mary Jo, who had Alzheimer disease since her late 40s. Right before her death at age 62, he wrote: “It is truly amazing how well a youthful appearance is preserved in the absence of stress and worry.” He explained, “She has no gray hair or wrinkled skin and looks to be 20 years younger.”

Jesus wasn’t simply instating an eleventh commandment when he said, “Do not worry about this life.” He assured his listeners and today’s readers that the heavenly Father knows exact needs of food, drink and clothing. Jesus encouraged trusting God for the bread, so minds, hearts and hands could seek the will of God on this earth.

To eliminate worry, use the preventive measures of daily Bible study and prayer. The Bible is busting at its seams with stories of God’s saving interaction with mankind, often prompted by a prayer-knock on God’s door.

Jesus gave excellent advice: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (7:34). A wise person quipped, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”

Worry warts are contagious. Don’t inflict friends and family. Songwriter Bobbie McFerren had a hit when he wrote “Don’t worry, Be happy.” Or as Charles Schultz said, "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.”

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1 comment:

  1. Love the Shultz quote. Thanks!
    Just using the term "wart" indicates that worry isn't pretty.