Growing up, there were always two career choices I dreamed of, and I was hopeful life would lead me toward one or the other. Choice one was a stay-at-home mom, nailed it! My second choice, if dream number one didn’t work out for me, was becoming a private investigator. I know, the two couldn’t be further from one another. My favorite television shows have always been crime shows like Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, and 48 Hours Mystery. Maybe my interest stems from my Papa, Jerry Reynolds, who served in law enforcement and as Sheriff of Carter County when I was young. Perhaps that’s the source of my obsession, either way, I love that type of real-life drama. However, there’s a problem I have noticed. It seems I can watch a few episodes of NCIS or 48 Hours Mystery, and I begin to run through all the terrible scenarios in my mind. All the crazy what-if thoughts. What if someone broke in and I didn’t hear it? What if I go on vacation and never come back? Crazy, right? But I am willing to bet you’ve had your fair share of worry, some legitimate concerns and others not so much.
So often on this journey, we call life, I find myself overwhelmed with worry. I worry about silly things, such as the dinner in the oven, or fear that we’ll be late for an important event. I worry about things like paying bills and feeding the family, and the fear that I’m not the best Mom and Wife to my family.
Can I tell you, I’ve had some crazy thoughts as my kids head back to our hometown for an extended period of time? I have struggled with a million what-if scenarios, all ending in the worst possible way. I’m not telling you this so you think I’m crazy, but because this has been a genuine issue for me at times. And I am willing to bet I’m not alone in this madness. Have you ever sat in a doctor’s office because you’ve got the sniffles, only to let your mind run to an unhealthy diagnosis? What if this cough is part of a more significant issue? What if this mole is more than a cosmetic nuisance? They didn’t answer my call, so they must be angry or worse, perhaps something terrible has happened. Maybe your boss looked upset when you walked into work, and immediately your mind ran to, ‘what if I get fired?’. What will my family do then? I love how the apostle, Paul, offers some encouraging words for those of us who tend to be worry warts.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I had recently heard statistics on worry, so I looked them up to be certain. And, statistically speaking, only 8 percent of what we worry about deserves our attention. Isn’t that incredible and freeing?! We waste so many moments worrying ourselves crazy when it isn’t even necessary. Now please understand, I know very well that sometimes the what-if’s are real and standing right in front of us. So let me encourage you in that as well. Even if the worst thing imaginable were to happen to you today, God would take care of you. We can erase the fear of what if, with ‘I know’. If you are in Christ, you can boldly say, even if this happens, I know God has me in the palm of his hand, and I know I will make it through. I have walked through those dark days and hard times, wondering how I will make it, but I know that no matter what comes my way, He is with me.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10