This retraining of the mind, it's hard. And when circumstances create even more resistance, it feels downright impossible.
"Don't Worry." I chant these two simple words in my mind over and over. But the words, they seem to float around in my thoughts like a thin mist, then evaporate. As though the worries in the moment are too big and powerful to be brought down by just two words.
Until I open to Matthew chapter six. And there it is, clear as day. Don't worry ~ about your life, what to eat, what to wear, or what tomorrow will bring. "Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" That's Jesus talking! And I want to do more than just listen up. I want to live these two words ~ DON'T WORRY ~ in my daily round.
It hit me once more as I happened on Luke chapter ten as part of my daily reading. And though the name MARTHA is written on the page, it's my own name I hear as I continue in the passage. "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better..."
I sit at our kitchen table gazing out the window at birds nestled on our feeder, delighting in a meal they didn't worry about preparing. "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
I've tried, Lord. I have tried to lay down my habit of worrying. Why is this so hard?
"You are worried and upset about many things." My mind recalls my list, a mile long and ever growing. People, problems, puzzling circumstances ~ all coming together to drive me to that pointless place of worry.
Lord, I'm tired! Then I see it, that one word missing from this mounting list. TRUST. How short I fall in trusting You, even though You have proven Yourself to be faithful time after blessed time.
"Only one thing is needed." One thing. My One constant. If I look at everyone and everything on my worry list with HIS name stamped across it, I can learn the better way. TRUST. Let it go. "Seek first His kingdom, and all these things..." All of them, He's already got covered.
Lord, I see! But how do I change this old way of living? I've spent a lifetime dancing to the rhythm of worry. "Mary has chosen what is better..." I see, Lord. It comes down to a choice. Daily. Hourly. Moment by moment.
The car in the driveway needing repair and bills piling high, they are no match to God our Provider. Loved ones walking difficult paths right now, all are safely cupped inside the hand of our Protector and Guide. Daily uncertainties and seasons of transitions, they are no surprise to Him who goes before us.
I breathe it in ~ TRUST, choosing what is better. I exhale ~ worry, stress, and doubt ~ toxic pollutants to the soul I was never meant to embrace. Inhale trust, exhale worry. A new rhythm, a new way of life. A choice.
"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few are needed -- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"
Copyright 2015 by Julie Cowell.