Sunday, October 12, 2008

Panic versus trust

I take after my Dad, bless his heart. We are two peas in a pod. I am pretty sure I inherited the "panic gene" from him. It certainly wasn't from my mom. She remains completely calm in crisis. (Flashback twenty years or so...After a minor surgery, I pass out, and wake to find my dad standing by helplessly saying to my mom, "Honey, DO SOMETHING!") Nope, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Or, in other words, I am my father's daughter.

When one of our children is sick, I, naturally, assume the worst. If they have a stomach ache on the right side, then blast it all, they must have appendicitis. If they have a head ache, it must be a brain tumor. If they are coughing, they must be choking. (I know this last one makes no sense whatsoever.) There have been times when a fever has spiked, or I am so worried about them, it's like my brain goes into a state of panic. I want to call the ambulance, the President, call in the National Reserves. Whatever it takes. When I get to this point, the fear is so great, I panic. I panic because I feel helpless.

Lately, everywhere I look, there is another reason I should be afraid. I can't turn on the television, the radio, or even have a conversation with a friend without being reminded that things are very, VERY uncertain. People are scared. I keep hearing the questions: will history repeat itself? What if we end up in another Depression?

What has been going on lately does not bode well for us worriers! By Friday, I think I had about worried/panicked/stressed/flipped out about all my brain could take, and I was in a little bit of a panic mode. "What if this?" I asked my husband. "What if that?" And in his usual (although sometimes maddeningly) calm way, he reminded me that even if the worst scenario I could imagine were to happen, that God is still with us.

And He has always been faithful. It doesn't mean we won't ever suffer, but looking back, I can see that our needs have always been met. There is so very little that I can control. I can't control the stock market, who becomes our president, or even if my husband will keep his job. Maybe that is a good thing, because I will learn to trust God all the more.

I remember when my dad was teaching me to swim. I wanted to learn, but was afraid of the water. I'll never forget what he told me. He said, "Swimming is like faith. You have to let go, and trust."

And so I am letting go. Letting go of the silly notion that I can control the outcome of any of this. I want to, need to, trust God. It's so second nature for me to think by worrying about things, I make it all work out. I can do my best to be responsible, but this weekend I have been reminded that I am can leave all of the uncertainty, all that is unknown, with Him.

I know and respect that not everyone shares my faith, and yet I would like to share a few verses I read last night that really touched me. :)

"Then Jesus said to his disciples:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry
about your life, what you will eat;
or about your body, what you will wear.
Life is more than food,
and the body more than clothes.
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!
Who of you by worrying
can add a single hour to his life?
Since you cannot do this
very little thing,
why do you worry about the rest?"

Luke 12:22-26

This brought me so much peace when I read it. I hope if you are like me and have been worried lately, it will touch you, too. :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and that your Monday is a good one!


Cherry's Jubilee said...

Jenni....I don't know how to even put into words how what you wrote made me feel better. I am a bit like you....AND I take after my DAd....same way. What you wrote from the does ease the minds worries...and makes me feel less overwhelmed. THank-you friend. cherry

Darlene said...

MOrning Jenni,

It must be frightening to have that "panic" gene. I do hope you can relax some over all that is happening because after all it is out of our control. God is in control and I absolutely LOVE that verse. It says it so well.

Melissa Lester said...

Yes, there is lots to worry about right now, which means lots to pray about and more reason to trust God. Thanks for the thoughts!

the undomesticated wife said...

I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of person who worries a lot. I've been trying to do what you are doing...just let go and let God.

Tricia Anne said...

The scripture that you wrote does give a great deal of peace to my worrisome heart! It also challenges me to place all of my needs and cares at the foot of the cross. I do worry about things, but I tend to be more of a control freak with everything else and when I see that I am not in control of a desperate situation, then I really worry. This scripture places everything in perspective and give rest to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing Jenni!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Amy said...

I love what you wrote...what a great reminder to all of us worriers! The past 2 years I have had to put my trust in God more than ever! And yet time and time again I end up worrying, even though God has always taken care of me and has carried me through the hardest times. I really am trying to worry less, so thank you for this inspiring blog entry. :)