Socially Acceptable but Spiritually Deplorable

I struggle with anxiety. I like to feel that things are within-my-control and when they become out-of-my-control, I quickly succumb to worry. Bills and money matters, for example, have always caused me stress. A sick child is another thing I dread. Sometimes my worry is so severe that I am in danger of becoming choked and unfruitful (as the seeds in the thorny soil – see the Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13).

However, Jesus very clearly taught in Matthew 6, “Do not be anxious about your life.” He went on to explain that if the birds of the air and the lilies of the field are cared for by their Creator, how much more will we also be cared for. He said, “Are you not of more value than they?” and later, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all [food, drink, clothing].”

I remind myself of these passages over and over again. I have to ask God daily for help in this area. And it dawned on me this past month that part of my problem with worry is that I live in a culture, in a world, where it is socially acceptable to worry.

When the Holy Spirit is leading me to trust God with something that is beyond my control (isn’t everything beyond my control anyway?), there always seems to be someone or something telling me that I need to pick that worry back up again. That it is my responsibility to worry. That if I am not worrying about that, then I am being lackadaisical or even negligent. It’s as if total trust in God actually translates into our culture as passivity, naiveté, or worse, laziness. But Jesus responds to worry by saying, “And which of you by being so anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…O you of little faith” (Matthew 6:27, 30).

I want to share a story with you that greatly encouraged me. One of the women on campus shared a story about her anxiety over gas money. (I’ll call her Megan.) Megan said that when she and her family arrived on campus two years ago, they had everything in their budget “under-control,” except for gas money. They weren’t sure how they were going to pay for gas expenses.

After they were assigned a field work church, Megan’s family sadly realized that their gas expenses would go up. As they drove to their church for the first time, Megan and her husband kept thinking, “Are we there yet? How much farther is this place?” She explained that there was a sinking feeling in her stomach as they saw how far of a drive their field work church was from campus.

Anxious and upset, they finally arrived at their new church. As they walked into the unfamiliar building, however, a little, old lady greeted them and immediately handed them $50. Surprised and confused, Megan and her husband asked the generous stranger what the gift was for. The elderly woman replied, “I want you to use it for gas.”

With tears in my eyes, Megan concluded the story by saying that this little, old lady has handed them $50 every time she has seen them in church and her Spirit-led gifts have covered Megan and her family’s gas expenses for these last two years.

Isn’t that amazing?

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” ~ Matthew 6:8b

5 Comments

Filed under Spiritual thoughts

5 responses to “Socially Acceptable but Spiritually Deplorable

  1. Beth Johnson

    Thank’s for the Update and the Scripture reading’s about you I shall do
    some extral Scripture reading and I shall say a Prayer for you once I’m
    done reading !!!!

  2. Ginny Hyland

    Brought tears to my eyes. He has ALWAYS proved faithful in my life circumstances.

  3. Aunt Mary

    Phillipians 4;6 is one of my favorite. I always take note the words “with Thanksgiving.”. That is what it is all about.

  4. Alice Stroshine

    Thank you for your honest comments on anxiety. It’s is my worst enemy too. Your blog has also encouraged me to stay in tune with the Holy Spirit–to go and do as He leads. Life is too short to spin my wheels.

  5. Andrea

    I so appreciate your thoughts and thought process here. We just moved and I have been battling bouts of anxiety over random and unnecessary things (garden, rain, blueberries, unmet expectations of all sorts and types). I will tuck these verses and thoughts into my heart, thanks for the encouragement. I want to add that I think moving adds strange anxieties to our subconscious, do you find this too? All ways to grow more and more.

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