Today, I had to get up early this morning to get my son, Preston, to school for a trip that his class is taking to Charleston, SC. Getting up early was not too much of a challenge. I am typically an early riser, first one up in the family on most days. Having to send my son off into the unknown without me is a different matter.
Having 5 children, my wife and I have gone through successive rights of passage where our children have taken on more responsibility in seeking out opportunity that we believe will prepare them for their future lives; but, in the process, we have to let go a little more, bit by bit.
And, because we love them dearly, letting go can be hard to do. So, sometimes, we worry.
Worry is not a bad word. Worry is a reality that most of us, if not all of us, face to some degree each day.
We worry about our health and the health of those who we love. Sickness and death has a way of quickly focusing our attention on who and what is important. And, sometimes we worry about our health.
We worry about our wealth, provision for ourselves, and provision for those who we care for. Facing a future where we do not have enough may seem like a coming reality no matter how far off or low probability that reality may be. And, sometimes we worry about our wealth.
We worry about our relationships when the absence of love, respect, peace and joy can make us feel lonely even when we are not alone. We are a part of humankind even though all the humans we interact with are not always kind. And, sometimes we worry about our relationships.
Basically, there is the opportunity to worry about something in your life all the time. And, some of us have probably gotten really good at doing just that.
And, in doing so, we are wasting the most valuable asset, from my perspective, that God has given us, time.
God has given us time to invest in our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus put it this way in Luke 12:25-26, "And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If you then are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?"
Beloved, you may not be able to change your world, change your situation, or change other people; BUT, you can change something.
You can change how you deal with your world, your situation, and with people by taking everything to God in prayer.
If you look at how you invest your time in terms of worry versus prayer, which one wins out most of the time.
Worry is a sacrifice of your time as you seek to deal with what sometimes only God can handle. Sacrifices may yield little to nothing by way of returns to improve your life or the lives of others.
Prayer is an investment of your time as you seek to let God deal with what only God can handle. Investments are made only because you expect to get a return. If you invest your time in God, you will get a return on this side of glory and on the other side.
So, what should you do with your worry?
Turn your sacrifice into an investment. Instead of worrying, pray. Pray and trust that the God who sees all, knows all, and can do all will turn your worry that is an unprofitable sacrifice into an investment that will offer you peace, joy, and contentment.
Which is the better use of your time? Time will pass. You have a choice. Life is going to happen. Your health, wealth, and relationships are going to be impacted, sometimes negatively. You cannot change that; BUT, you can decide how it will change you, for the better or for the worse.
I encourage you to pray when you have just cause to worry. All of the worry may not go away immediately; BUT, you will find that you are better able to deal with what worries you as you know that God has everything in His control and power.
Beloved, tonight, from 6:30-7:30, at HOPE Wednesday, we will be learning more about the fruit of the Spirit. Tonight, we will be discussing Kindness. Some of you who typically come were missing last week. Come back tonight.
I am concerned about you who may consistently make the decision to stay away because I know that the church family grows better when the church family grows together. Learning more about the word of God and the application of that word will only help you to worry less and trust God more. I want that for you because you need that in your life.
You come and bring someone with you who you love and care about. They need to grow too.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!