Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From Mountains to Molehills

Dorothea Lange, (George Eastman House)
 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life . . ."
Matthew 6:25

Read Matthew 6:25-34

Are you a “worry wart”? Worry plagues many of us. It ebbs and flows—overwhelming one moment and manageable the next. Worry is not a new problem. In Psalm 55 David says “I am worn out by my worries.” That is so true—worry is exhausting!

In Luke 10:38-42 we find Jesus visiting with Mary and Martha. Wrapped up in housework and cooking, Martha wants everything to be just right for Jesus. I can relate to that! Don’t we do the very same things when company comes to our house?

I remember distinctly the time our church invited a gospel group to sing at our morning worship service and our evening revival service. Members of the church were asked to host the various singers during the hours between the services. My husband Dick and I volunteered to bring home two of the fellows from the group. The day before their arrival I ran the sweeper, dusted the furniture and scrubbed the bathrooms. I nagged my husband and children till everything was hung up and put away. “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” Dick said. “No one will even notice!”

That Sunday during church, I mentally went over my “to do” list for the noon meal, planning every step from the moment Dick pronounced the benediction till we cleared the last dish from the table. During the offertory I decided I should make fruit salad as an extra side dish. I rushed home as soon as the last “Amen” was spoken and frantically diced fruits into a big bowl.

At lunch no one but Dick and I tasted the fruit salad. Dick took the guys for a walk in the woods while I cleared the table and did the dishes. They came back with mud on their shoes and pant legs, oblivious to my freshly vacuumed carpet and sparkling clean lineoleum.

I had cleaned, chopped and nagged for nothing. I missed a good message at church and ran my family ragged. No one even peeked into my nice clean bathroom! I could have served peanut butter sandwiches for lunch! I certainly didn’t get revived. Like Martha, I exhausted myself! Worry robbed me of blessings—just- - like- - Martha.

The Bible gives us the “antidote” for worry. If we want peace and freedom from worry, Philippians 4:6-7 says to pray about whatever it is that concerns us, and to give thanks. When we take the time we would usually spend going over and over a problem in our minds, and pray about it instead, we will find we no longer carry our burdens alone. And if we list what we are thankful for, we will realize that God has been and always will be faithful. Prayer and thanksgiving bring peace from God—peace that goes beyond understanding because it eases our worries in the midst of life’s challenges.

Anybody else need a little antidote for worry?

©2013 Pamela D. Williams