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Core 52 - Chapter 48 - Overwhelming Worry

This morning, on my way from my house to the church, I caught twelve red lights. Let me emphasize that again, TWELVE RED LIGHTS!! As you can imagine, the Lord and I had several conversations on that extended trip, most of them beginning with me pleading and whining, “Why Lord? Why can you not teach me patience some other way??”

And yet, for every one of those stop lights, as I approached, whether it be from a far off distance with plenty of time and space or up close and quick because of a sudden change in light color, I did the same thing without hesitation.

I put my foot on the brake pedal.

And every time, without fail, those brakes began to work and slow my car down. Every time, without fail, my heavy vehicle was prohibited from smashing into the vehicle in front of me or driving right through a red light and risking an accident. Every time I pushed the brake pedal, they worked without me even thinking about it.  I didn’t even wonder if they would work, I just put my foot on the brake and they did the same thing they do every other time I put my foot on that larger rectangular shaped pedal; they stopped my car.

Blind faith? I don’t think so. I wasn’t like I had no knowledge of what those brakes had done before or that they were capable of stopping my car.  I know what brakes are, and I know what they are designed to do – stop your car! When it comes to brakes, I think it’s more about track record. Sure, there are times when our brakes are not very reliable, but we know they need maintenance and repair work on occasion. For the most part, though, brakes are very reliable based on their past record.

The same could be said about many other things in life: when you turn on the faucet each morning, you expect water to come out; when you push the button down on the toaster, you expect it to make toast; when you check your cell phone for the time, you expect it to be right; when you sit down in your desk chair, you do so without hesitation because you know what a chair is for and you know what that chair has done for a long, long time.

That’s why worry is so perplexing to me. It just doesn’t make sense, and yet I participate and excel in worrying each and every day. Okay, maybe not about the toaster or the faucet or the clock on my cell phone, but other things on a much bigger scale. And yet I know worrying and being anxious accomplish absolutely nothing.

Worry is nothing more than a result of our lack of trust in previous experiences.  In the grand scheme of things, worry ultimately comes down to us not trusting God’s track record in regards to taking care of us and providing for us.  Isn’t that the essence of what Jesus says in Matthew 6 when he compares our worrying to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field? Don’t we have a long, long, long record of God’s faithfulness, not only found in the written Word of God, but carved by personal experience into the walls of our own heart, as well? If we would worry less and seek Him more, I have a feeling we would get so much more accomplished for the Kingdom.

Remember, it’s not blind faith in an invisible God; it’s trusting the track record of the One who’s been there since the beginning.

Don’t worry; have faith; trust God. He hasn’t let you down yet and He doesn’t intend to. And you can count on that even more than all the red lights on San Jose Boulevard!!

- Pete Ramsey