Take another look
By Teresa A. LeNeave
“Oh, don’t worry so much”, the man said to his wife.
“I’m not worried. I am concerned.”
“What’s the difference? You fret and can’t get it off your mind. I’d call that worry.”
“Well, as far as I can tell, you need to be concerned a little more. You sit there in your easy chair and act like nothing is happening. It would do you good to expend a little energy on fixing the problem instead of ignoring it like it’s going away tomorrow.”
A few days ago the central air conditioning had quit working and now water was leaking from the sealing ruining the sheetrock and, of course, the painted ceiling. It would probably cost a couple thousand dollars to replace the old central air unit and at least a few hundred to repair and paint the ceiling. On top of all that, the breaks on the car were about to go out and no telling how much that would cost.
Concern, the lady thought, was in order. Where would they get $3,000 to fix all that stuff, and even if they had the money, who would be able to do it immediately? It actually needed to be done yesterday, so today is too late. “Yes,” she thought. “I have reason to be concerned and even worried if I want to be!”
In spite of her need to be concerned, just thinking so much about all the problems was making her exhausted. She had nothing to show for all the energy she was expending and she did worry about things too much. One thing she didn’t want to be was a martyr. She was beginning to feel like one. There was only one thing left to do. Pray.
“Lord,” she prayed, “worrying about all our financials problems is really taking a lot of my time and energy. I’m tired. But, I am so concerned. Where will we get the money to fix the air conditioner? It’s hot and going to get hotter. I am at the end of my rope. Please help us.”
She quietly sat in her prayer room. Exhausted. In minutes Bible verses began to filter into her mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” ...And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
“I really need you to guard my heart and mind,” she whispered to the Lord.
The next thought, she was sure, came from God. “Relax,” her spirit said. “Tackle one problem at a time. Choose the most pressing first. The air conditioner needs to be fixed so that is a legitimate concern. It’s an immediate need. The ceiling can wait and dragging the breaks on the car into the picture is definitely worry. Worry is concern over something that hasn’t happened, and may never happen.”
She got up, walked to her husband and said, “You know, you may be right. The ceiling can wait. The breaks are not completely gone, and the air-conditioner, well, I’m sure we can pay payments on that. Now, it’s your turn to act. You find someone to come and fix it.”
He smiled. She was satisfied.
Unfortunately, circumstances take a toll on our peace, but when we honestly put it into God’s hands, things do work out. Concern turns into worry when we pile all the problems into one bucket. The fuller the bucket gets; the more intense the worry becomes.
Tackle your problems one at a time. This will give you an entirely different look at things. Put God first in your life and he WILL make a way.