Man, where do I even start?
If you know anything about me, you must know that I am the biggest worrier there is known to mankind. Every little thing that seems to be an inconvenience, yours truly makes it her biggest problem.
What happens when worries become far too big and how are we ever going to learn how to leave them up to God to handle?
1. Feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
Don’t we all.
For the longest I could remember, I always had an overwhelming feeling of worry come over me when something was wrong. Whether it be at home, at school, in my wandering mind, the concept of worry was something that was never foreign to me – even if I didn’t know the exact term at first.
Around the beginning of this year (crazy how we’re already midway through November), I found myself in a state of great worry as I contemplated leaving school for a while and getting a job to then pursue something else. Glad to say that I’m still in college and did not decide to leave. I thought to myself that I would never make it and was doomed and would be an embarrassment to my family and God for not finishing college properly and with that came a lot of anxiety and worry – not to mention the deep depression that had me isolated for the most part and faking a smile to get through the day. As I desperately tried to convince myself of dropping out, I was looking into continuing this blog seriously, and I sought answers, signs even, from God to help me find a way to make a living in any other way than part-time jobs that felt like a drag. I was so up in my feelings, but so convinced of dropping out, that I came across this verse from Psalm 55:22 that says this:
22Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
I couldn’t explain to you the peace that overcame me as I read this verse while having every kind of worry on my mind. I just knew that whatever it was, God was in control. Now, even though I didn’t want to accept it at first, it meant God would take the helm (boat’s wheel) and literally turn that boat around in my life, but also a reminder that God was the One who would carry my burden (or worry) and sustain me as we sailed through these moments of fear and uncertainty. And it was not easy whatsoever, but God made me hang on to this Psalm until this very day.
There are many, and I mean many verses we can look at and cling to when we feel the world crashing down on us. But what then? I know I can be the first to say that just repetitively quoting a verse over and over again had not made my worries any smaller.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (one of my favorite verses to talk about with others) says this:
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Faith is the motor of it all. Without faith, we are nothing, dead in our works. You can take a good amount of time reading through the whole chapter of Hebrews 11 to truly understand what faith is and how many people in the Bible showed their faith in God.
Habakkuk 2:4 – “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
It takes faith to trust what God’s doing in your life and great humility to accept His will for your life.
Accepting God’s will for our lives is so hard to do because we want everything our way. Just recently, on a Sunday morning, our pastor at my local church was preaching on God’s will for our lives. He was preaching, saying that we are to live a surrendered life before God in order to obediently submit to His will. God was definitely being clear when I was listening to the pastor going off on the subject, because that same afternoon, while reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, I read these two words: Deo volente, Latin for “God willing”. These two words stuck with me as I was writing and the exact quote from the book says this:
“As he turned to go, Jean Louise called to him. “Uncle Jack,” she said. “What does D.V. mean?” Dr. Finch sighed his you-have-no-education-young-woman sigh, raised his eyebrows, and said: “Deo volente. ‘God willin’,’ child. ‘God willin’.’ A reliable Catholic utterance.”
I was mesmerized by the words spoken and kept repeating these two Latin words over and over again and remembered what my pastor had said that Sunday morning about always saying “God willing” or “if it be God’s will” when we speak of the next thing we’ll do. Today is not promised, tonight is not promised, tomorrow won’t be either, and the next 10 years won’t be promised. They all belong to God and we should be reminded that “Deo volente”, we will see another night, day, and year. Life is fleeting, a vapor to be exact (James 4:13-15).
If God wasn’t being any clearer, I don’t know how else He could possibly show it unless He personally appeared before me (which is frightening to think about).
Our biggest worries in life happen when we choose our way, and when it becomes overwhelmingly big, we throw our hands up in surrender, desperately trying to figure out how we got this far. And this is when the next part comes in: surrendering it to God or, in other words, leaving it up to God.
Like the lyrics in “Control” by For King & Country go:
“I give up control – body, mind, and soul – I can’t do this on my own – alone – I give up control.”
So, a quick rundown of what it means to “leave it up to God”:
- Acceptance of His will
- Surrendering to His will
- Giving up control and passing it to Him.
Remember the helm? Yeah, that’s exactly right. Pass the helm over to God.
There were two separate times in the Gospels when Jesus was traveling with his disciples by boat, and both times there were storms present and the disciples were terrified for their lives.
The first time Jesus calmed a storm, Jesus was literally sleeping while the disciples were losing their minds (Mark 4:35-41) and Jesus, after calming the storm, turns to His disciples and says: “Have you still no faith?” or as he would say in Matthew “O you of little faith”.
The second time, Jesus lets His disciples go into a boat before him so they could get to Bethsaida. By evening, there was a storm and once again, the disciples were losing it as they saw what they thought to be a ghost, but it was actually Jesus who was walking on water (Mark 6:45-52). In Matthew and Luke, we actually see that Peter (you know I’ll be talking more about Peter on here) tries to walk over to Jesus, fails, and then Jesus utters the words “O you of little faith”.
If you read my last post, I talked about fixing our eyes on Jesus – and though I didn’t mention it this story on that post, Peter actually turned his gaze from Jesus when he looked at the wind, which resulted in him sinking into the water, which is why you’ll often hear sermons and lessons talking about “keeping your eyes on Jesus as you walk over to Him” and “don’t look away like Peter did”.
You get the point, I hope.
What am I getting to here? Well:
- We worry because we like to take control over our lives and anything that seems inconvenient to us, especially what we can’t control, becomes a worry.
- We have little to no faith in what God intents for our lives or even how He can use it for our good (Romans 8:28).
- When we learn to leave it up to God and accepting His will, we can be fully surrendered to Him and give up all control to Him.
- We should trust Jesus, cling to hope in the storm, and be at peace knowing He’s got it.
- And remember to… PRAY!
We, in our own human condition, can never, ever, try to control our own lives because we will fail miserably and we will worry our heads off. May it be school, work, money, personal life – all of it should be cast into the hands of God. Our whole entire life is in the Hands of God. He has given us His one and only begotten Son because He loves us (John 3:16) and cares for us:
1 Peter 5:7 – casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you
The simplicity of the Gospel is this: Jesus Christ came as God in the flesh to live a life we are unworthy of living, a sinless life that was then sacrificed as a lamb was at the altar during Old Testament times. He is the High Priest greater than any other high priest known to man. He is Mediator between humanity and God, the Only Way to God, and the reason we can now pray directly to the Father through His Son. The Giver of eternal life to us, wretched sinners are now given the free gift of grace when we choose to put our faith in Him, Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
Today, I want to encourage you to put your burdens, worries, anxieties – whatever they may be – in the Hands of the Holy God who is perfect and more than capable to handle them. And while you’re at it, choose to seek Jesus today, surrender to Him, and accept His will for your life in obedience as you go about telling others about Him. There’s nothing impossible for God (Luke 1:37).