Several years ago, we took a trip with some of our close friends to Ponca in Northwest Arkansas for Spring Break. Our kiddos were teenagers and we thought it would be a great getaway with hiking trails and waterfalls and, of course, relaxation.
The further we went into the hills, the weaker our cell phone service was. When we pulled up to the cabins, the kids acted as if their favorite pet died or they had just been beaten with only an ounce of life left in them.
No cell phone service.
No social media.
Oh, the humanity! The torture! For them, it was the worst thing imaginable.
For me, I was tortured by something else…
We were excited to head to our first hike. The landscape was defined by huge rock formations and bluffs rising up from the river and trees that had just begun to leaf out. The air was a little crisp in the mornings still, but once the sun broke through the clouds, the fog lifted and you could see wild elk out in the field.
We hit the trail and took in all that was around us. The sounds of birds chirping, sun shining through the trees, gravel and leaves crunching under our shoes as we walked and heavy breathing because most of us were out of shape! It truly was beautiful.
We got to one overlook with the river below, and I smiled and played the part, but I knew my act wasn’t fooling anyone.
Worry set in. It began consuming me.
My thoughts frantically whizzed through my mind and were only about the bluff. What if my friends and the kids get too close to the edge? What would happen then? And how far down was it?
They weren’t doing anything dangerous, but my imagination ran wild. I could mentally see all of these horrible things happening. Scenario after scenario played out in my mind. The struggle to get an ambulance there in time or a place to land the helicopter. A rush of air left my lungs and I felt weak. I couldn’t enjoy myself because I was consumed by these fears.
(Seriously, just thinking about that cliff and my boys wanting to look over it has me so anxious as I type, and that was years ago!)
It’s not the only thing I worry about, of course. I’ve always been a worrier. What will we eat? What if someone doesn’t like me? How will we pay for this? Can I get this done in time? How sturdy is this roller coaster? What if he decides he doesn’t love me anymore? My worries are so intense that I cannot be in charge of the finances.
When we get a bill, it isn’t due for 3-4 weeks, but I still worry about it from that moment on. Like, freak out worry. Are you with me?
Worry fills our minds and hearts because we have lost focus on the provider and protector.
“Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Are you a worrier?
Do you struggle with anxiety and fear?
Don’t you want to change that?
Oh, how I do! Instead of a worrier, I want to be a warrior instead! I want to be ready to face those struggles, battles and everyday life with confidence, persistence and determination! I want to shake my fist at a mountain and say bring it on! Or something like that anyways…
Do you realize that we can only do that when we put our eyes back on Jesus Christ? He has promised to provide for us. To be with us through trials and storms of this life. He has promised to guide us on the right path. But when we take our eyes off Him, we lose hope.
Just like Peter did.
“25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Did you notice that? Peter took his eyes off Jesus, focusing instead on the heavy winds coming, and what happened? He lost all confidence and trust. He was full of fear. He began to worry, sinking fast.
But notice what Peter did. He knew the Lord could and would save him. While his focus had shifted, he knew exactly who he could turn to.
In our anxiety, fear and worry, we too can turn our focus back to the One who created us!
The One who knows us inside and out.
The One who created the world, parted the Red Sea, provided bread from heaven to the Israelites in the wilderness, destroyed the Tower of Babel, healed the blind, deaf and sick.
The One that overcame death and sin with His blood!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus! If you are searching for help with your worry, He is the answer! It’s not enough just to know him, we also must trust and obey him.