"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are." 1 Peter 5:7-9 (NLT version)
Last night at church, Pastor gave a really good message about not worrying. It was very timely for me, because I am generally not a worrier. Oh, there are times where it creeps up, finances tend to get the worrying going pretty quickly if I dwell on them, but for the most part, I just don't find things in life to get worked up and worried about.
But over the last few weeks, I wondered if by not worrying, if I was maybe being a bad mom sometimes. Specifically, health-wise. Because I just don't worry about my kids health. I believe that God has great plans for both of my kids for the future, and when they do seem to come down with something, I try and soothe their symptoms as best as possible, but my first instinct is not to run to the doctor's office. It seems like every mom I know is talking frequently about running their kids to the doctor for this or that, and my daughter has only been to the doctor's office once since she was an infant and going in for regular well-baby check-ups. I just don't worry about them. When we get colds, ear infections, sinus infections, etc, those all go away naturally without medical intervention, there's no need to go get medication that isn't necessary. I mean, if there was something serious, sure, we'd take them in. But a random sniffle and cough does not send up my worry radar and get me googling for worst case scenarios.
However, back in August, the kids dealt with a mild case of a summer cold. It was quite mild, no fevers or anything, just coughs and drippy noses, and after a few weeks, the symptoms passed by. But ever since then, Abigail has had a random cough come on her every once in a while. This is not the first time she has had a cough that lingered for months, so I didn't worry about it. But then a few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation where someone was talking about their child being newly diagnose with asthma, and I couldn't stop thinking about that. Should I be concerned about this cough of Abigail's? Should I be worried that she may have asthma? It's entirely possible, as I've dealt with asthma in my life. And as the days have passed, she would cough a bit, and I would wonder if this is the time that I need to take her over to the Fast Care and get it checked out.
Except that the bigger part of me is believing that God has broken the cycle of asthma in my life. I don't struggle with it, I haven't for years, and I believe that He will keep my children from having to suffer with it as well. Ultimately, I kind of came down to the conclusion that a bit of coughing is not cause for concern when not accompanied by fever or any other troubles. If Abigail actually had trouble breathing, I would take her in, and I believe that God gave me the mommy intuition that will tell me it's time to take her in.
And that right there is the difference. If I listen to the world around me- including the many parents, magazines, news sources, etc, I need to worry about my children's health more. The world tells me that there are dozens of diseases out there that my kids could get every single day and I need to be constantly worrying and vigilant about them. Almost every building you walk into these days has a stand of hand sanitizer by there door when you walk in. Why? Because we're supposed to be worried about germs, according to the world. We even have annual flu shots now to help prevent the flu every year- never mind the fact that the strain of flu floating about is likely not even one of the ones prevented by the annual injection. We're supposed to worry in advance about getting the flu, so we should head to our local doctor or pharmacy like sheep and get that flu shot to the tune of quite a bit of money.
When I don't worry about germs, that does not make me a bad mom. It makes me a mom of faith, because I have faith in the mom that God has created me to be to know when my children have a serious medical need. I have faith that when I need to seek medical care for my children for one thing or another, that I will know that it's time to seek care. When I look back at the last few weeks I can totally see how the devil was using Abigail's random cough and that overheard conversation to cause me to worry. This morning I can smile and say that I will not worry. I will continue to have faith that God's got my back. Because what does worrying do for me?
Nothing. Worrying does nothing good. When I worry about something, I lose sleep, because it keeps me up at night. When I worry about something, I get far less done during the day because I am so busy worrying that I spend hours at the computer, trying to either come up with a solution, or temporarily forget about the worry by doing something mindless like playing games. All those things add up, and when I worry I become an unpleasant person, and the stress adds up until I finally succumb and find myself sick with something. So I will not worry! I will give those cares and those worries to God, and I will stand firm in my faith in Him. And it says right there in 1 Peter that my Christian brothers and sisters all over the world deal with the same kind of issues of cares and worries. So I tell you today, that if you are reading this, these verses are meant for you today as well. Do not worry! Give your worries to God, because He cares about YOU and He sent His Son to take the reasons for worries and cares away from us. Give God your worries and stand firm in His promises.
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" Luke 12:24-25
You are so much more valuable than the ravens that God takes care of. Cast your cares on Him, and He will take them and give you faith and rest in place of worry.