Earlier this week I had the privelege of sharing a message about courage (featuring my scaredy cat*) with a local MOPS group. I told of my rising stress level as I went to bed that first night (and subsequent nights) with a strange (to me) cat loose in my house, not knowing what condition I would find my home in come morning.
I relayed the fact that it was day three of a scaredy cat on the loose before I came to the realization that God is in control of all things. Before you start thinking this isn't a newsflash I have to ask you a question: Do you say you believe God is in control of all things, or do you actually live as if God is in control of all things?
As with most things, it's easier said than done, isn't it?
"As I have purposed, so it will be; as I have planned it, so it will happen." ~ Isaiah 14:24
The truth is, if I was living out my belief that God is in control I wouldn't be worrying or feeling out of control, would I? Because He is in control there can only be two sources for anything:
- God caused it.
- God allowed it.
Either way, the Bible tells us that God can use everything that happens to believers for our benefit, whether it happens to appear to be beneficial or not. Whether He ever reveals to us the benefit or not.
"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
I know this.
I believe this.
So why is it that the very day I gave this message I found myself worrying?
I've been having some success at my attempts to catch up, necessary since in the past several years I seem to have fallen behind on pretty much everything. This included sending in my knives to be sharpened - something long overdue. Finally, two weeks ago I called a demonstrator who came over and helped me pack them up to be shipped. The following day my husband took charge of our grandsons for a few minutes so I could make it to the post office in the small window of time when they're actually open.
I did the responsible thing and paid the extra fee for insurance, feeling the satisfaction of one less thing on my to-do list. The demonstrator said it would take a couple weeks for the sharpened knives to be returned, so I didn't think much more about it - at least until after I had given my message. I realized it had been a couple weeks and I thought I should check and make sure they actually arrived at their intended destination.
I couldn't, because I couldn't find my receipt.
I'm pretty organized, as evidenced by the fact that when it came time to pack up the knives I readily located the original cardboard sheaths they arrived in over a decade ago. Yet the receipt from just two weeks ago was not to be found - not in my purse, nor in my car, nor where I normally keep them. Nowhere.
Perhaps this was a reminder that, while I'm not where I should be when it comes to worry, neither am I where I had been. Rather than spending every waking moment consumed with locating the receipt, as I was known to do in the past, I was able to let it go after my cursory search.
I think perspective has a lot to do with it. While I would not want to have to come up with the money to replace the knives, I was able to look away from the here and now and instead focus in on the bigger picture. I realized that, while this looked like a problem in the moment, in the scheme of all eternity this wasn't even a blip on the radar. It just goes to show that a small change - in this case pulling back to look at the greater scheme of things - can make a big difference!
What are you worrying about today? Perhaps it would help you let it go if you asked yourself these questions:
- Is there anything I can actually do about the situation?
- How important is this in the scheme of all eternity?
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~ Matthew 6:34
Epilogue: The day after I gave up my search I received an email informing me that my sharpened knives were on their way back to me and today they arrived! I so glad I didn't waste any more time worrying than I already had!
* I am pleased to report that while I still have a cat in my basement, I am no longer stressed out about it. For those of you keeping tabs, as of the date this post was published this cat has been holed up in my basement for 4 months, 3 weeks and 1 day. Cat whisperers are encouraged to leave suggestions in my comment section ;)
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