February 8, 2016

Luke 12:25-26 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

The Japanese word for “worry” is literally, “distributing the heart.” In some contexts it is a very good thing, as in caring intensely for someone, and it is used that way in a very famous statement by Peter: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) However, worrying about various things really wears us thin, as expressions in various languages acknowledge. Jesus’ point here applies to that. It is demonstrably true that the stress of anxiety actually shortens lives, rather than lengthen them. The expression, “I was worried half to death,” isn’t just quaint, it has some truth to it. Several years ago the Lord spoke three words to my heart, and I’ve been seeking to apply them ever since. Those words? Rest. Relax. Rejoice. He has made it clear to me that this isn’t a passive attitude; I am to be an active, faithful steward of my body and my time. However, anxiety isn’t part of the mix at all.

As a pastor I strive to impart this truth to others, but I’ve had decidedly mixed success. I’m not to be anxious about it (!) but continue to speak the truth in love. Right now I’m in a high-level practicum on this very point, since my wife enters the hospital today for brain surgery on the 10th. The list of possible complications is frankly daunting, but our being anxious about it isn’t going to change the outcome. The Lord has provided an excellent medical facility and team, but more than that, He has shown us over the years that He is to be trusted. We don’t know what we will go through on the way, and it is almost certainly better that we don’t, but we do know that He will take us through it all to His blessings on the other side. How we respond to this will be a powerful testimony to all who observe us, to show them what faith in God can do.

Father, thank You for this further opportunity to grow in faith and trust. I would personally rather I be the one having to go through the surgery, etc., but over the years it’s mostly been Cathy. I pray that You would pour Your peace into her particularly, but also into me and our daughters, and to the many who are concerned for her. May Your perfect will be done in every detail, so that we won’t miss a single blessing and so that You may receive all the glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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