by Janice Kennett
Cocoa Krispies, Fruit Loops and Cheerios, all in one bowl at the same time. That’s how my youngest son used to eat his cereal. Today, he’s a very tall twenty-six-year-old who still says his three favorite women are Little Debbie, Sara Lee and Betty Crocker. Many of the photos we have of our boys show him with some kind of food in his hand. Sometimes, I thought he would grow up to be a chef. Sometimes, I was just ready to have him grow up.
We moms are the worriers. In spite of the Scriptures that plainly tell us not to worry, we do it anyway.
Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is its own evil. — Matthew 6:34
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6
I’ve learned there is a difference between genuine concern and worry. When I’m sincerely concerned, I go to the Lord in prayer. I vent, fuss, share my frustrations and then give it all to Him. I visualize my problem as a tangible object, something I take out of my pocket and place in His hand. There! It’s done, and I walk away at peace. The worry can’t follow me home. The only way for me to carry it again is to take it back.
It’s such a waste of time to worry. It truly is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
Where did we ever get the notion that worry was our job? I hear women say to their kids, “I worry about you. It’s part of my job.” No, it isn’t, and we’ve raised another generation of women who think that worry is normal, acceptable and besides, “I just can’t help it.”
I beg to differ. While new habits aren’t established overnight, it can be done. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us we can “cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” When we truly, truly focus on Christ, the cares of this world shrink in size. It’s much easier to see them for what they are when we lay them down at the cross.
In sign language, the gesture for “rest” is very similar to the one for “satisfy”. If Christ is our satisfaction and all we need is found in Him, we will rest and there will be no room for worry. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Giving in to worry is not the abundance Jesus had in mind.
Are you satisfied in Jesus? Are you resting in Him? You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).
We must recognize worry as just one more way the devil causes us to lose sight of Jesus. We need to keep our eyes on Him and make a conscious decision to not give place to the devil. Memorize a Bible verse, listen to restful, worshipful music, and turn off that noisy TV.
If you really want peace, you’ll have to seek it. If you really want to beat stress, you’ll have to deal with it. Daily, determine in your heart that today — this day — I will focus on Jesus.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m learning one day at a time, just like you. But I’ve seen His provision and His promise, so I know it is possible.
Join me on the journey. The peace that beckons is worth the effort!
© 2008 by Janice Kennett. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Janice Kennett works as a newspaper reporter, Internet columnist and freelance journalist. She and her husband Charles have two grown sons, whom they home schooled through the high school years. Visit Janice at The Grits Gallery blog.