Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:7-8
Fretting at times feels like an occupation. We worry and stress over all the details of our lives. There's all the little stuff: What's for dinner tonight? When are we supposed to be at practice? Did my child bring $5 for the class project all the way to the teacher? And there's the bigger stuff: Are we making the right choices? Are our children walking in faith? How do we best care for aging parents? How will others respond to our actions? The list seems limitless.
It is difficult to trust God so completely that we can put aside our fear, but living in fear and worry is an unhealthy focus. The Bible reminds us that fretting is a dangerous path. Focusing on the problem and all of the “what ifs” keeps us from focusing on the God who loves us and cares for us. Every worry that I feed with my time and attention shows how little I trust God to care for my needs. Do I really believe in a God who has the power to create the universe out of nothing if I don’t trust that he can care for my children’s hearts?
Paul tells the Philippian church, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Let God handle your concerns--turn them over to him in prayer. Take that same energy we use stressing over the situation and focus it on thanking God for handling the difficulty. Let's shift our focus from the problem to the solution!
We need the reminder to be still and wait patiently on the Lord. Our God is working faithfully on our behalf. Not always does he work in the way I would choose and seldom on my timeline, but he always works out what is best. God does not forget our names or our needs. He knows every hair on our heads and cares about every tear that falls. He formed us, he claims us, and calls us to live for Him. It is not our role to worry and fret about the details. We are called to walk obediently where God leads us and often that starts with being still and waiting patiently to see where God is leading us.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra