Psalm 57:1 – Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to Me! For my soul trusts in You: And in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until all of these calamities have passed by.
This past week was perhaps one of the most stressful weeks that I have had in my life. Stress and anxiety seemed to be coming at me from all directions and in many different shapes and forms. It started with some problems with my physical health. I have been in and out of doctors' offices for several months now trying to find out what has been causing me the pains and problems I have had with my intestines and chest. Well, it seemed they had straightened that out, but now I was having severe numbness and tightness in the entire left portion of my upper body. This is where the worrying began. And then there were a couple of days when I had to be on the road travelling to clients, and I always get stressed when I have to drive long distances. Put on top of all of this a recent decision my wife and I made to start looking for a house, and you have one stressed-out person.
I regret that I did not find this verse in the Bible earlier in the week. But in some way, I think perhaps I had. The only thing that was able to get me through the week was daily giving my worry and stress over to my gentle father Jesus Christ. Each morning I prayed much the same words as the Psalmist recorded here at the beginning of Psalm 57. Of course, my words were not quite as eloquent, but they had the same meaning. I simply asked that God watch over me in the coming hours of the day ahead and that I was laying all of my burdens upon him, trusting that he would take care of them.
My pastor once said that you can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your list, the smaller your God. God tells us time and time again in his word that we should not worry, and that he will take care of us. In Matthew 6:25 he tells us, "do not worry", and again in Philippians 4:6 we are told to "be anxious for nothing." But our human nature causes us to hold on to all of these worries and anxieties that can bring us nothing but harm.
I have come to realize that no matter how well our life may be going, we will always have problems and concerns. There are always going to be things to "worry" about. But if we will do as the psalmist says and take refuge in the shadow of our God, we can rest there until all of the worries and calamities have passed us by. I recently received an e-mail about a "worry tree." The essence of the story was that each day as the man came home from work he would pause before going into his house, and "hang" his worries on the little tree beside of the front door. He discovered that when he would come out the next morning, there were not nearly as many worries as he had left the night before. Well as God's creatures we have the greatest worry tree of all. We can give our worries over to him each morning or evening, and he will bear them for us.
So in the coming week, let's give our worries to God and see how much better our week goes. He will take them all, no matter what. Whether it be a concern over a big sales presentation, finishing a big project, choosing the right house to buy, or even just choosing what to fix for dinner each night, God will take care of it.