Confessions of a sleep-deprived worrier

I probably shouldn't write blog posts when I'm sleep deprived and occasionally have trouble remembering my new son's name, not to mention the time I last fed him (don't worry--he'll remind me). But if I cannot let the Bible and its good news speak in even the most stressful of times, then when will it speak?  

You know the saying "too blessed to be stressed"? Yeah, that's cute, but I'm more like this:

I'm a little tense these days, tightly wound, a control addict deprived of her addiction and going into withdrawal.

I am sometimes under the delusion that I can keep it all together. If I can train and discipline my children just right, they will love Jesus and stop driving me crazy. Or, if I can achieve the perfect state of patience . . . then I'll stop letting them drive me crazy. If I take the right measures, they won't get sick or hurt. You know--insert your own delusions.

But I'm not in control, not of the humans I share my life with, the ones to whom God gave the will and freedom to make their own choices. And I am certainly not in control of this broken world, with viruses lurking on every shopping cart my child decides to lick, and pain always so close.

I wish I had fives easy steps to stop the anxiety that wraps itself around my heart. You could try to talk me out of my worries, and I'd totally agree with you, but it probably wouldn't help much in the end.

What does God say to worriers like me? Does He try to talk my out of my worries? Does He tell me I'm silly and that everything will be all right? I think His answers are different than I might expect.

He offers something better than answers:
 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I want answers, but He wants me to seek HIM and talk to Him.

I want to understand, but He wants to give me His PEACE beyond my understanding. I have set my sights too low if all I want is solutions.

I am "too stressed to be blessed," but He wants me to stop and be thankful for all the ways He tends to me and mine as a Father.

I feel like I'm alone sometimes, but He is with me, for me and is praying for me.

Remember the time Jesus and his disciples ran into a terrible storm in their boat, and the disciples woke Jesus saying, "We perish"? After Jesus had calmed the storm, he asked his disciples "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25). He didn't fault them for being scared. The storm was a deadly one and they were about to drown as the water filled their boat (Luke 8:23). He chided them for forgetting who HE was and what He could do.

The truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus sets us free from our fears. I am free to fail because I am covered by His grace and forgiven. I don't have to fear pain because He is with me through His Spirit. I don't have to fear sudden disaster because He works all things for my good (Romans 8:28).

When you're in the middle of the thing, it is very difficult to slow down and remember who's "in the boat" with you. Thankfully there is grace and more grace for our forgetting.

P.S. My favorite book on worry is Edward T. Welch's Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. 

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