Blog #14 The Greater Battle
In my last blog, I wrote about fear. From the response I could tell it struck a chord with many of you. So this week I'm covering the part of fear we all reluctantly engage in: worry. But as I was working on it, I made an interesting discovery. It left me wondering, is worry really what we need to be worried about?
Worry and fear are definitely kissing cousins. But there is another member of that family that lurks in the background. It isn’t loud like fear or nagging like worry. But its presence is felt, and it demands an unspoken level of respect. Its name?
Fear, worry and control. All in the family. What’s interesting is, though we don’t like any member of this trio, we tend to focus our attention solely on worry. If only I could I stop worrying! But fear and control are akin and not to be discounted. Consider this definition:
Worry is a fearful future scenario that we cannot control.
Can you pick out the entire trio? They are all in there, but control is definitely calling the shots.
When in control, fear and worry cannot touch us. We are invincible. It’s when control starts slipping through our fingers that we begin imagining a horrible sequence of events. And the lack of control is what keeps us up at night. Our inability to guarantee something won’t happen is what creates fear.
Worry is not the problem, friends. Our attempt to control everything is.
Back pain is a continual issue for me. And, truth be told, I spend more time worrying about it returning than any other single issue. This week I thought I had tweaked it, but I hadn’t. Yet I spent the rest of the day worrying I might! At one point my son could tell I was moving conservatively. “Does your back hurt, Mom?” I was ashamed to say, “No, I am just trying to prevent it from hurting.”
How ridiculous is that?!
But unfortunately, that is how I often live. I have convinced myself if I can control my every move then I can successfully prevent pain. But I can’t be conscious of my every move. Ask my chiropractor! Therefore, this lack of control leads me to fear and worry. Which, sadly, is worse than the dumb back pain! Sigh.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord before me. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.” In other words, if I put God right in front of me, I am going to be ok.
All the time. In every circumstance.
Now being “ok” doesn’t mean every scenario ends on a happy note. But where I am lacking, I find God providing.
As I finish this blog, I am sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. I ended up in urgent care a few weeks ago with debilitating back pain. Today was the first available follow-up appointment and it has been looming in my mind. Will I have to have another MRI (which I HATE)? Have my spinal issues worsened? Do I have new issues to add to what has already been diagnosed? I knew this wouldn’t be an easy office visit, so I asked a few friends to pray and chose to set God before me. As I sit here, I can honestly say I am not worried. In fact, I am surprised by how peaceful I feel!
But I have really been trying. Trying to let go of control and set God before me. And, in faithful fashion, I am not shaken as I sit here waiting for the doctor. I wish I could express what a victory this is for me.
I really believe worry is the lesser battle and control is the greater one. So, let me leave you with the same questions I am wrestling with:
What are you worried about the most? What part does control play in it?
Choose your battle wisely. Go for the greater one!
Identify how control plays a part in what worries you most. Ask God to help you trust Him with that.
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