Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not time to worry

My youngest child is a worry-wart. If you were having a cuppa whatever you like with her, she'd tell you so herself. Along with her ready, infectious laugh, quirky and inimitable fashion sense, she lives with worry.  When she a little girl sleeping on the bunk beneath her older sister, after we'd read and pray together each night I'd often hear concerns from each of them as we turned out their bedroom light, concerns so characteristic of them, I could have drawn a picture of who they are by their night time queries alone. E would remind me of anything I'd mentioned what might do during the day and hadn't done, and SK would tell Beve and me of some little (or larger, depending on the day and her mind's wanderings) worry. "What if there's a fire?"  "When we go on the airplane to Alaska, what if it crashes?" "What happens if I can't learn my multiplication tables?" "Who will I be friends with when we move?" "If I forget my library book, will I get to check out another one?" 

No matter what the content of SK's question and our subsequent reply, the end of my answer to her worries  was always, "It's not time to worry about that now. I'll tell you when it's time to worry about it. OK?" 
And she'd calm down, snuggle into her bed and sleep. Mama and Daddy were taking care of her worries for her. I think there was something very comforting about the idea that her worries were safe with us. Not pooh-poohed, but just kept for the right time. At least that's what we wanted her to feel. Not silly, not wrong for worrying, but released from the burden of them.

I asked her just now if she remembers me saying that to her, and of course, she does. And I suppose now that she's 23, and trying to figure out her future, she'd really like to have us simply take all her worries for her as we did when she was small. That's partly why she'd like to be a kid again (at least in some ways).

But the truth is, we do have a Daddy who says this to us. I do. And I forget it. I can't keep it in my worry-flooded brain that when Jesus says, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself." (TLB) He's saying, "I'll tell you when it's time to worry, and that time isn't now."  He knows there are things out there tomorrow that are troubling. He doesn't pretend for an instant that such things don't exist. He simply says, "Don't let those things strangle you. Let Me carry the burden of them for you." 

All those things SK worried about as a child don't worry her now. I never did have to tell her the time had come to worry about them. Of course. God knew this would be the case. I knew it too. And...He knows that taking our worries from us means He won't give them back. 
What are you worrying about today?  No matter how big your worry is, no matter how grave your situation, 
Jesus is saying these words to you, "It's not time to worry about that yet. Let one day's troubles be enough for one day." 
Trust Him.

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