Growing up, I was the only ten year old I knew who got tension headaches. As I got older, I would tell people “I’m a world class worrier” and I was. If there was anything to be concerned about, I could probably find it. I think part of it was caused by my tendency to do a lot of listening. If you talk to any group of people long enough, you’re bound to discover that somewhere, someone has something not right in their lives. I’m the type of person who takes on the burden of others, so despite all evidence for the irrationality of doing so, I worried.
Later in life, I realized how contrary this was to much of Scripture, and I would like to believe that I’ve gotten better about worrying. I still tend to be sensitive to the trials of others but I’ve also learned that praying for someone is the best and sometimes only thing I can do. While I learned the truth of this in practice, it was only recently that I recognized the theory that supported it. After all, worrying about one of God’s children presumed that somehow He no longer had things under control. My worry was a demonstration of a lack of trust; it was, in short, sin.
Along with this realization, however, came something else. Recently its been impressed upon my heart that I’m more apt to defend myself than I am to fight for God. When my feelings are hurt, when an injustice has been committed against me, I’m quick to demand an accounting. However, just like worrying demonstrated by lack of faith, so does my desire to fight for what I believe is rightly mine. If I truly believed that God had my best in view, I wouldn’t feel the need to struggle for my own place. Instead, I would trust that He would carry this fight for me.
The mental picture that brought this home to me was imagining myself walking down the street with a man whose very strength was evident by his presence. If suddenly our physical well-being was threatened, it would be silly for me to try to engage in the fight. The best thing for everyone concerned would be for me to get out of the way, and let him take care of that which offends us. Similarly, when my place in life is threatened, fighting on God’s behalf is just as ridiculous. When I try to take up the battle, all I do is get in the way.
I would no more take up the strong man’s fight, then I would try to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Realizing that my strength is totally insufficient and that there is One who has fought the battle and won, makes the temptation to try a little easier to resist.
(Sidebar – As I began this blog, I note that my last post was Jan. 30. I knew that I hadn’t written in a while, but I had no idea it had been over a month. The prolonged absence was not caused by a dearth of things to write about, but having too little time to do it in. In the next several days, I hope to take some small steps to rectifying the depletion.)