From the Hills: From Worry to Wonder

By Sylvia Peterson
Posted 4/25/22

“I worry about everything, then at the end of the day I lie in bed and worry about whether I missed anything.” 

This quote resonated with me, but what does worry say about our …

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From the Hills: From Worry to Wonder

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“I worry about everything, then at the end of the day I lie in bed and worry about whether I missed anything.” 

This quote resonated with me, but what does worry say about our faith? 

Quite honestly, I worry too much. Will Husband and I outlive our money? Have we saved enough? Will we remain healthy enough to age in place? Mobility takes on greater importance each year. Could there come a day when we cannot do our own grocery shopping? Is there still time to heal our lingering broken relationships? 

If these don’t leave me in a cold sweat of anxiety, I can always move on to the global economy, world peace, and the eventual eruption of Mount Rainier. Also, add in the war in Ukraine, COVID’s evolving variants, rising inflation, and what will become of our pets if they outlive us?

I don’t look at Facebook very often, but sometimes I scroll through my friends, family, and a lot of people I don’t even know, and can’t figure out how they got on my feed. There are a shocking number of posts about the fears and anxieties that prevail in our current culture. If I’m worried that I am the only one who worries, I can safely put that one to rest. I am not.

This week it occurred to me, there’s really only one item that should worry me. Am I pleasing God? Not just when I pray. Not just with my church attendance. Am I pleasing Him in my thoughts, my activities, and in the progressive development of my character? Does the way I live my life bring Him pleasure?

Jesus gave his life for my sins, but that is the starting point, not the end. The empty tomb determined my eternity, but there’s a lot of road between salvation and destination. 

One of the stumbling blocks we need to leap over is the human propensity to worry about things over which we have no (or extremely limited) control: inflation rates, global warming, war on another continent, volcanic eruptions, and the life span of our pets.



Once we’ve retired and are managing our money with deliberate prudence, worry doesn’t save us a single nickel. As our bodies age, we ought to make healthy lifestyle choices and seek medical care when needed, but worry doesn’t prevent disease. If a time comes when grocery shopping is impossible, several of my friends have discovered we really can now order our groceries online and have them delivered, and it’s kind of fun. 

Sometimes I look at where I’ve been in my life, and see the broken relationships that have festered into worry. I have repeatedly and sincerely apologized — if you aren’t sure how, get a copy of Chapman’s “The Five Languages of Apology.” 

My sister hasn’t spoken to me since our mother died. I still worry. Should I have done something more? Did our relationship break because I did a poor job representing Jesus? I need to remember that not everyone liked him either. Then, keep praying instead of languishing in regret.

Worry is not a new malady. Paul wrote this to the church in Philippi: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

I please God most when I take my worrisome thoughts captive, and use my mind to appreciate Him.  

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Sylvia Peterson is former co-pastor for Bald Hill Community Church and the author of “The Red Door: Where Hurt and Holiness Collide,” which can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. She and her husband are chaplains for the Bald Hills Fire Department. You can email her at sylviap7@comcast.net.

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