"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34
Wouldn't that be grand? A day where there is absolutely no fear, and no worries? Often times, those two things combine- especially as parents. We fear harm coming to our children, and that fear often translates to worry. And then there are the things that we worry about that we have absolutely no control over. Last night while I was sitting at the dance school, I overheard a phone conversation a man was having with his neighbor. The neighbor was away on vacation, and had called because they'd heard about storms passing through and he was worried about hail damage. My very thoughts were that I felt bad for this person who was going to spend the rest of their vacation worrying about potential storm damage to their home while they were away. Worrying wasn't going to do a single thing for him. If there was damage, they'd have to deal with it when they got back home, and in the meantime, that worry could totally ruin their vacation.
The media frenzied world tells us to worry-pretty much daily. We are constantly told to worry about our health, our diets, our weight, the planet around us... as I think about morning news programs and all the interviews that they have with experts on this and that, it occurs to me that they're trying to sow worry on purpose. Maybe there's a product that goes with the worry. Eat better to avoid cancer- and take these special vitamins to boost your health...
That reminds me of going to the pool. Once upon a time, you could go to the pool and see kids in their swimsuits getting sunscreen put on. Now it's completely different. People are told to fear the sun and to worry about skin cancer for their kids. So the kids start in their swimsuits... then they get the sunscreen slathered on. Over the top of their swimsuit and slathered skin they get special water clothes to put on- usually a high-necked tee-shirt to cover up most everything they just put sunscreen on. Then, they get hats on top of that, and when they're not in the pool directly, they are wrapped up in towels to shield them from the sun OR they are sitting under an umbrella or awning.
Why are we so afraid of the sun? Because we were told to fear it- and we were told to worry about it.
And do you know what one of the results of this sunshine paranoia is? We have a country full of people who are deficient in Vitamin D- a vitamin that our skin absorbs from the sun. A vitamin that is vital to overall health and a serious deficiency makes people very susceptible to colds, flus, and also causes muscle and bone troubles. Hair can fall out without proper vitamin D. Vitamin D also gives us energy, so those who are lacking will feel more tired all the time and lethargic. Unfortunately, while there are supplements, they don't work the same as regular old sunshine. Our body can't absorb and use them as easily as if we just sat in the sunshine for 20 minutes and soaked up the old-fashioned rays. Vitamin D deficiency is a very serious and real problem that many people are dealing with right now because they were told to fear and worry.
The real question is- how do we get rid of fear and worry? The sunshine is just one example of many, many things that we could fear or worry about. We get rid of fear and worry by diving into our Bible's and reading all the scriptures that tell us "do not fear" or "do not worry". When we catch ourselves worrying about something in the future, we can recite Matthew 6:34 to ourselves a few times to try and eliminate the worry that's creeping up on us. We can also give our concerns completely to God. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but when we really spend time talking to Him about our worries, and then tell Him we give them to Him, and want Him to take care of them, we can very well erase the worry that is plaguing us.
Going back to the sunshine and the pool example, do you really think those kids are enjoying their time in the pool? How can they, when they have to worry about keeping all the excess clothing on, and having sunscreen reapplied every 30 minutes. God wants us to enjoy life- He wants us to experience great joy and to have fun when the time is appropriate for fun.
He doesn't want us to worry- and He certainly doesn't want us to fear. Give God your fears and worries, and open up to all the wonderful possibilities around you.