I was going to write on a different topic for this week’s post. But then I was hit with worry. In perhaps it’s worst form—concern about a loved one.
Many of us have someone in our family or adopted family of friends who almost seems placed in our lives to cause us constant concern. We care about the person, even though he or she makes choices that we know are wrong, becomes someone we barely recognize, or turns away from God.
We can instruct, berate, cajole, argue, and plead, but usually to no effect. That loved one keeps repeating bad behavior or heads directly for the disaster you know lies in wait.
It would be so easy if you could just abandon your loved one to his fate. If you could just say, “It’s her life,” and walk away without looking back.
But you care. You love that individual. You don’t want the worst to happen. You don’t want your loved one to be hurt, to reap the consequences of bad choices.
So we worry. For me, that means I fret and stew whenever I’m reminded of my reasons for concern about my loved one. I encounter some new information, some sign of increased problems or further self-destruction, and my insides knot-up.
I can’t focus on work or anything I intended to accomplish in my day because I’m so concerned and feel an overwhelming drive to fix the problem. Often, I try to do just that.
But some problems can’t be fixed. Especially by me.
So after my attempt to redirect my loved one, without making a dent of difference, all I’m left with is the premonition of the ills and evil that are going to befall that individual. The fear that the future is dark and painful if my loved one doesn’t change.
That’s the fear that threatened to derail me this morning. When I realized I was fretting over something I couldn’t control, I tried turning it over to God through prayer. Praying for my loved one seemed like the key to letting go of my fears.
Praying was a great first step, but I realized when my anxieties still cramped my stomach ten minutes later that I was missing something.
Then God stepped in. He opened my eyes to the truth I was refusing to see.
I have NOTHING to worry about.
This is what I know about God: He is good (perfectly, perfectly good), his love will never end, and He is faithful to all generations of those who love Him (Psalm 100:5).
If I believe what I often say, that God has a plan and His plan is perfect, then I have nothing to worry about.
Our loved ones may self-destruct or choose to believe people who will only lead them astray. We have nothing to worry about.
They may believe lies or become the deceivers themselves. We have nothing to worry about.
They may choose lives of sin and perversion. We have nothing to worry about.
They may drift away from the faith, or even outright deny Christ.
We have NOTHING to worry about.
When addressing the issue of worry, Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
God sees our loved ones and knows them far better than we do. He created the loved one I’m worried about, the one you’re worried about.
Nothing they do, no choice they make, no pain they bring to others or themselves, is a surprise to Him. Everything they do is part of His plan. Even the bad road they choose to take.
Yes, they are responsible for their bad choices and rejection of God. But He will use even the worst that happens for good in the end.
So do pray for your loved ones. God uses our prayers as part of His plan, but He also uses them to change us.
As I pray for my loved one, I see my own sins and bad choices more clearly. As I plead for my loved one, I become more grateful for God’s mercies to me. As I pray for that individual who frustrates me to no end, I grow in love, and my heart softens to reflect the love of Christ.
Pray, but do so free from fear and anxiety because, no matter what happens, you know that nothing will happen outside the purpose and perfect plan of our great God.
Pray and love knowing this: We have nothing to worry about.
Do you have someone in your life that causes you worry? Have you found ways to battle your fears for your loved ones? Please share!