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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 13 comments

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 ;)

I have been known to link up with: Make Your Home Sing Monday Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Living Proverbs 31Unite, Soli Deo Gloria, Tell Me a Story,  Titus 2sdaysWorks For Me Wednesdays, #TellHisStoryA Little R and RWoman to WomanChoosing Him,  WholeHearted WednesdayWedded WednesdayCoffee and ConversationFrom House to HomeSo Much at HomeThursday Favorite ThingsThriving ThursdayFriendship FridayFaith Filled FridayBest Blog Post Ever,  Make My Saturday Sweet, Still Saturday, Missional WeekendSpiritual SundayThe Weekend Brew

13 Responses so far.

  1. Faith says:

    great post, sadly though some of our life angst is a direct result of bad choices or natural consequences of bad choices and due to our free will was a direct result of US. .but I a, SOOOO thankful for the redemptive work of Christ and His mercy and grace!! I try to give the Lord control of my life each day...it's the only way to achieve real peace isn't it? great post Lisa!!

  2. Lana says:

    Ugh, big worrier here as well. Your knife story sounds exactly like me!! I try everyday to learn to just let things go, but it is so hard sometimes.

    A cat in holed up your basement?! Goodness me! Normally I would think most cats would've relaxed by now and decide to come out, but if a cat is older before they are well socialized, they can be stuck in their ways. Are you wanting to remove the cat from the house? If so, a simple trap can be used where you put food inside, and once the cat walks in it will close, no harm done. Then she can be transported wherever you deem safe! Good luck!!

  3. Glad to hear Scaredy Cat is becoming less stressed. No sense in pussy-footing around a problem when you can just let it go and know God already has it "on a leash.'"

  4. Unknown says:

    Very great reminder not to worry. I am one of those that can get so worked up in imaginary "what-ifs" that I'll actually make myself cry sometimes! I just have to let go and let God handle it. I'm glad I was linked up next to you at the Weekend Brew. Have a great weekend!
    -Miranda at http://rahabtoriches.com/

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great questions to ask when our idea of an important must do is not the same as God's idea. I really like is this important in the scheme of eternity? Blessed you joined us at The Weekend Brew. Mary

  6. I LOVE those two questions. So often things that make us the most upset, don't matter at all to eternity, and there's really nothing we can do about in the here and now - we just need to move on.

  7. I can relate. After months of my car stalling, two trips to the mechanic (finding nothing wrong) and my continued dilemma, I finally had to let go and praise God instead of begging God and believe that we will find the problem...eventually. I think we did. What helped me was thinking and praying for others who had real, life threatening problems.

  8. Joy says:

    Happy ending at all! A great reminder coz this life brings us something to worry about everyday.
    Dropping by from Tell me a true story. My entry: Are you listening?

  9. I do hope your cat in the basement is finding mice to catch ! Everything happens for a reason and with God there are no happenstances, even a new cat. - - We seem to enjoy worrying at times. As you say, it will not help the outcome to fret. It is best to let the little things just slide by and let them go. Thank you for sharing your lovely story with us here at Tell me a Story.

  10. caryjo says:

    As usual, you're a life and heart sharer. I'm glad you were able to break in to many hearts. Thanks much! [BTW, I sure would love to see and talk to you about our African connections. Not everyone rejoices or understands the way we do and we've gone through.]

  11. It's so hard to remember that God is in control of the small details and His bigger picture at all times. What we are really questioning in our worry is whether or not God is good. It's so so hard!

  12. Poppy says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I enjoyed reading your article today, as I am a chronic worrier, although I never used to be! It seems the older I get, the more I worry. I am aware that coming from a family history of acute anxiety, and depression, I am probably more prone to this condition, as well as those mentioned, but am just as aware that, as you said, 'God caused it. God allowed it', although I do wonder why there IS so much devastation and tragedy in our world, that really IS heartbreaking in the big scheme of things, and that I actually CAN'T do anything about. And this, I have to say, does worry me.

    Visiting from Inspire Me Monday. Wishing you a wonderful, worry-free week!


  13. I often struggle with worry. I love how you suggest we frame these worries in terms of their relevance to eternity. I need to do this!

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