Do not be afraid

by Stan Mitchell

Bob worried about his death. His anxiety consumed him, day and night.

At night, unable to sleep, he paced up and down his room, worrying. In the day his stomach churned like a cement mixer as he worried still more. When would he die? How could he avoid that? Would he die of cancer? Or would some dreadful tropical disease lay him low because he shook the hand of someone who had shaken hands with someone else from the tropics?

He lost weight and sleep. His lack of concentration led to the termination of his job.

Finally, Bob died of a heart attack at age forty-eight, which is absurdly young for such an event. His doctor said he died of stress and worry.

Worry is such a waste of time and emotional energy. Some things we worry about never come to pass so our worry is a waste of time. Other things will hit us, regardless of whether we worry about them or not.

Certain kinds of worry are healthy if they cause us to better ourselves and prepare for the future.

But some people’s worry becomes as paralyzing as a mouse in front of a cobra. Where are our kids? It’s two past eleven! They’re in a car crash! Their bodies right now are mangled on the freeway! What will I do for the rest of my life without them?

Will our congregation survive? What if our preacher leaves? What if the young people don’t develop into faithful leaders? What if a false teacher enters the flock?

 Yes! Be prepared! No, don’t worry endlessly, obsessively.

Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Someone else has pointed out that we should not be afraid of tomorrow because God is already there. Will you exhibit fear or faith, consternation or confidence in God?

Don’t worry. It’s under control: His control.

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