I have always been a chronic worrier. Worry wart. Hypochondriac.
I remember being a kid and thinking I had some sort of horrible kidney illness, that I would never survive out of high school, that I would miss the bus, that my parents would die. Fast-forward to me as an adult with a precious baby and you'd find me in the middle of a tempestuous sea where my worry waves of childhood had multiplied and grown by about 10 times. There is something about holding your own child in your arms, his eyes ever-watchful and taking it all in, to get your worry gears to grinding.
You aren't just responsible for YOU anymore. There is another human being that can only thrive under your tender love and care, that now depends on you for everything. From feeding him to changing him to cleaning out his tiny little boogery nose.
But the other night before bed, I had a little moment that made me think about things a lot differently. I was telling hubby about my fears regarding our son - fears that something would happen to us, that something would happen to him, that he would grow to be an unruly child... so many concerns and worries. I was so worried I felt physically ill. And Ben just said, "you know you can't control the future with worry." As soon as he said it, it opened my eyes right up. I have always been the sort of girl who likes to feel in control of things, to be steering my own ship of life. And when I find things that I can't control I worry about them chronically. My brain struggles with whatever it is I am facing, convinced if it toils over something long enough that somehow it will win control over the fear at hand.
But that will never, ever work. And I am reminded, alongside the words my husband spoke to me, of the words of Christ in Matt. 6:27 - "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
Suddenly it all made sense - that is exactly what I was doing!! I was putting worry at the helm of my spiritual ship allowing it to be the captain, thinking that if I'd only worry hard enough I could change something. That is a recipe for total failure because it is like pouring water into a bucket with no bottom. It is like using a wet noodle in place of a sword while waging war. It just doesn't work that way.
Well, you can bet that my prayers were so different that night. I could feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders, suddenly really understanding the scripture in Matthew 6 though I had read it 100 times. As I prayed, I was finally turning my worries over to God. I don't know why it never clicked for me until now. I truly believe that is why it is so important that you marry someone who will sharpen you spiritually - but that is for a whole other blog post entirely! Haha!
It was so good for me to realize that hey, I am NOT in control. Nor will I ever be... and nor do I really even want to be. That is a ship that only God can pilot. I am reminded of the hymn:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
God has always taken care of His own. There may be times in life where we face struggles and heartache and loss where we question that truth. But He will reward the faithful. I know I often forget that this life is about so much more than the "now" - and so much more about where we will spend eternity. I want to be sure He is at the helm of my ship, that He is the captain so that when the end comes He will steer me straight into Heaven's harbor.
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.