I am worried just about all the time. How are we going to pay the water bill AND the phone bill AND the IRS when all we have money for is the water bill (and I am not positive about that!)??? About the only time I am NOT worried is when there is nothing to worry about – and then, that's only because I am not thinking hard enough.
A wise person once said – I think it was Harrison Ford, or Steve Allen... maybe Paul Newman – I read it in one of the Reader's Digests in the bathroom, and if you want I can go look it up – but he said something like how worry is a waste of time because 9 times out of 10 what you worried about never happens, but by worrying about it, you experience it anyway.
And then, on the rare occasion it does happen, you experience it twice.
I suppose that's part of my problem. It's my vivid imagination. Back when the kids were younger, if they were five minutes late coming home from school I immediately assumed they had wandered down to the river, and I pictured them floating over the dam.
I hear sirens now, and it's the police rushing to a terrible head-on, fiery car wreck, and of course, one of the mangled cars is Pepe's Honda, or Dee's Mazda... no... BOTH of them!
Coming home from a day or two out of town, I am sure we'll turn the corner and find the house a smoldering pile of ashes.
Get a cough, and I immediately assume it's pneumonia.
Well okay, that one I happened to have been right more than a few times.
I'd wake up shivering some night – why is it you always need to go to the hospital at 2:00 in the morning? Why can't these things happen at 2:00 in the afternoon, and not the weekend, when the doctor's office is closed, but during the week, when the doctor is in?
Anyway, there I'd be, wakened in the middle of the night by a sudden chill. I'd wrap the blankets tighter around me, trying NOT to shiver, trying to convince myself I really wasn't sick, I would be just fine – because the last thing I want to do when I am freezing is get out of a warm bed and into a frozen car in the middle of a frigid winter night.
But eventually I realize there is no way I can make myself stop shivering and I really need to get to the hospital.
...where I'd end up staying for a week on a course of the big-gun IV antibiotics.
The first time this all happened my doctor told me it was a good thing I got to the hospital when I did, because the bacterial infection I had was the same thing that killed Jim
Henson - fairly easy to treat if caught early enough – not so much if not.
About the third or fourth time I found myself tethered to an IV pole I was sure my luck had run out. I mean, the antibiotics aren't going to work ALL the time.
And that's when I am pretty sure the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
"Do you trust in me? Or not?"
A simple question. Because, really, that's what it all comes down to. Do I really believe God is there – or not? Do I really believe He loves me – or not?
Pick one. Yes? Or No?
Well, I couldn't pick "No." I KNOW that God is there. I may not always FEEL like God is there, but when I stop and think of all the things I DO know – there is no way I can deny that God IS there. I see the things He has made, and the things He has done all around me every day. The air that I breathe. The ground I walk on. The sun that warms me.
The fact that I AM.
None of that could have just happened. Not by impersonal chance and time. It had to have come from someone.
There is "someone made it" written all over the universe. (Actually, it says, "Someone REALLY amazing made it"!)
And then there is Jesus.
It really all comes down to Jesus. Did a man named Jesus really walk the dusty hills of Galilee two thousand years ago? If I had lived in Capernaum back then, would I have seen him? Heard him preach?
Did he really die on a cross?
Did he really rise from his tomb on the third day?
Yes? Or No?
And I have to say, Yes! There is no other way to explain everything that has happened since if Jesus was just some crazy guy who thought he was God.
And if Jesus really DID live – and even non-believing historians admit that – and he really DID rise from the grave – then he really IS God. And everything he said is TRUE. The Bible is TRUE. And now he is reigning in heaven in all is glory, Lord of All.
And Jesus loves me. This Jesus who rules all things and has power over ALL THINGS... LOVES me.
I exist in his love. I am wrapped in his love. His love upholds me and sustains me. I have my very being because he loves me.
And still I worry???
What a goof I am!
So just now I was out taking Blackie on a walk. I was trying to nap, but Blackie jumped up on the bed... well, sort of pulled himself up on the bed with the help of a stepping stool – he is 16 years old now, and his back legs aren't working so well. He pretty much just tumbles down the stairs these days. Doesn't seem to mind though! Anyway, I was trying to nap and he got up on the bed and plopped himself down right next to me with his paw on my chest. Whimpering.
A nap wasn't going to happen.
So I am walking down the sidewalk with Blackie on this sort of gray but wonderful November day (I happen to really like gray November days for some reason), and a car drives by. A nice car. A gold, luxury Buick of some kind. And I thought, "I want a car like that!"
We have a 1998 Chevy Lumina that we bought for $100. It's actually a wonderful car, but it has over 220,000 miles on it, and it could die on us any time.
"No," I thought, "What I really want is not to WORRY!"
But then I went through in my head everything I just told you. Do I believe Jesus is with me? Or not????
Does he love me? Or not?
So why do I worry?!!!
It's still going to take some work.
I am worried again already!
So I am going to ask myself...
Do I believe this is all true?