Making it to Monday: Making a Case to Stop Worry


I used to be a worrier.  I would stay up all night concerning myself with things that were completely out of my control.  I worried that I would forget something,  that I would not be as kind as I wanted to be, that I would forget to complete a task that someone expected of me, or that I would let someone down or fail them in some way.

When I was pregnant with my first child it multiplied exponentially.  Was I eating right and gaining weight appropriately? Was I seeing the doctor often enough? Was the baby  growing well?  After he was born: Were we bonding? Was he healthy? Is he eating often enough? Am I eating often enough? How’s my milk supply? Worry is really overwhelming!  And when I’m overwhelmed – I cry.  Always.

A few years ago I came across one of my very favorite scripture stories about Jesus raising the Widow’s son.  Its among my favorites not because of the miracle, while that’s certainly magnificent, it’s because of the directness of Jesus.  He comes across the scene quite accidentally it would seem.   If it were me wandering around with all my friends, I would have asked 1000 questions and cried with the momma and thought about what it would be for my own life if I was a widow and on my way to bury my own son.  Then I would cry some more and then I would try to help but I certainly wouldn’t be much help at all.

Jesus – he simply said “Don’t cry” and went about his business.  He didn’t fluff he didn’t hold her, he didn’t seem to really even acknowledge her tears.  He simply said “Don’t cry.”  I don’t think he lacked compassion or kindness but she wasn’t what he was about.  He was about her son.  Her tears, her sobs, her screams, her worry only stood in the way of Jesus doing what Jesus was there to do, raise her son from the dead.

Wait… WHAT!?   Say that again.

“Her worry stood in the way of Jesus doing what Jesus was there to do!”

Surely that was accidental.  That compassionate Jesus that I know cares for me and loves and cherishes me.  But here He doesn’t ever really acknowledge the thing I’m most worried about!?  How does that even seem fair, right, just?

But then I think about my own kids and the words I say to them and it starts to make sense.  My middle child is messy and forgetful and slow.  My eldest is organized and very timely.  He worries incessantly about being late.  INCESSANTLY.  Frequently school morning sound like this.

Me: Shannon it’s time for your shoes.

Shannon: I’m going.

Connor: Shannon get your shoes, where are you shoes, put your shoes on, you are making me late, it’s not fair that you are making ME late, What if they start without me, what if I don’t have time to get my seat work ready, what if I don’t have time to put my drum sticks in the band room. What if.. what if.. what if.

Meanwhile Shannon is standing in the kitchen listening to every thing he’s worried about and has completely forgotten about her shoes.

Me: Shannon, your shoes.

Connor: Starts yelling, and name calling and throwing things.

Me: Oh no, now you’ve made it all about you.  It’s going to take longer because you need consequences for your actions.

Connor: (yelling) But it wasn’t my fault! I am just worried I’ll be late.

As brother and I are working through the morning struggle, sister has gotten her shoes on and is waiting in the front yard for us to go.

Did you see what just happened!?   Forget the fact that I absolutely wield God-like power in my home and focus on the fact that Connor’s worry actually interrupted the process.  Doesn’t that happen all time.  Don’t we send ourselves into a stupor of worry only to realize that if we had just stayed calm and allowed the process to work, God to work, we would have gotten there a whole lot faster.

Is it fair to say that worry about all things is actually an unholy act? An action that is preventing God from doing his best work? Maybe that’s fair, or at the very least is unproductive.  The more I struggled with worry the more I realized how selfish it is.  I have made a conscious decision these last few years to put worry away.

“Her worry stood in the way of Jesus doing what Jesus was there to do!”

I remind you of the widow woman.  Her tears, her worry, her fear for the future was barely even acknowledged by Jesus.  Now, when worry grabs ahold of my brain and won’t let go, I ask myself a few questions.

  1. Am I making it all about me?
  2. Is my worry preventing me from making an change in the situation?
  3. Am I standing in the way of God’s work?

Simply answering these 3 questions puts my worry into perspective.  Either I can do something about it – so I do. Or I can’t (aka:the Widow’s son) and no amount of worry in the world will change it.  I simply have to tell myself “don’t cry” and move out of the way to let Jesus do what he is there to do.