Why Worry?

Monday, January 19, 2015
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord This Day Thy Children Meet"1 (Lyrics)

Our city of Brockville, Ontario, has lost a lot of well-paying jobs as industrial plants close or move elsewhere. It is a time of worry for many affected, but one of the workers said this to me: "Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives us something to do, but it doesn't get us anywhere." He went on to state that it is not work that kills us; it is worry!

Worry was prevalent during the time of Jesus. He knew that we would be faced with worry when He spoke at such length about this topic, especially as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 6:25a,26,30-31 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" (RSV)

Worry is a concern that we have had to deal with for centuries. Thomas Jefferson talks about the pain that worries cause — worries that never materialize. Mark Twain tells us to drag our worries away — by the ears, by the heels, or by any method possible. Corrie ten Boom says that worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength.

Yet I often find myself worrying about family and friends. Does it do any good? Does it help me or the people I am anxious about?

Jesus goes on to say:

Matthew 6:33-34 – Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day. (RSV)

In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states that he believes that the more we pray, the less we will panic, and the more we worship, the less we will worry.

Is that true for us today?

Prayer: O Lord, there seem to be so many things that we could worry about today. Is it possible that with Your assistance, we could trust You to take care of these things? Is it possible that You could help to alleviate the worries that possess some people? With Your aid, O Lord, guide us on Your path. Amen.

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About the author:

William Hamblen <whamblen@cogeco.ca>
Brockville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing William.

    Happening locally here as well … job loss etc but you are right!! God! God and more God = peace.

    Many thanks for your scripture reminders about worry as I head off to the doctor. It has eased my anxious mind! Blessings!

    Thank you for putting this subject into perspective. It is so true how we can get wrapped up in worrying. Very well written. Best regards.

    Wonderful to see a devotional from a fellow” Brockvillian”.
    We read the PresbyCan devotional every day, and are always blessed.
    A very good devotional. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you William. One with which we can all identify, I’m sure.
    Another line about worry was posted years ago on the little reader board outside a church near us. It read: “Worry is just like paying interest on a debt that isn’t even due.”
    May you be worry-free and enjoy this new week ahead.

    I read your words at very early and a time when concern for my husband’s‎ well being as well as his absence from our home had awakened me.
    My prayer is for reunion and healing. Thank‎-you for reminding me to be still and know.
    Grace and Peace.

    This is great! Isn’t it ‘funny’ how we need to be reminded all the time, and have different voices and explanations and points of view, to review things that we ‘know’ very well. Thank you for this reminder of the futility of worry. Not only is it futile, but it actually robs us of things that the Lord would like us to have, such as His peace and joy, confidence in Him, and fullness of life! Blessings on your ministries!

    Dear William,
    Thank you for today’s devotional.
    The ‘rocking chair’ saying about worry is the same saying my Mom wrote in the front of one of her nursing books back in the 1950’s when she went to nurses college. I was glad to hear that saying again. My Mom still has her nursing book with that saying in it and showed it to me again about a month ago.
    The Lord is right about not worrying as we don’t know when our last day will be.

    Dear Mr. Hamblen,
    Re – The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren: Our little Bible Study group is studying this book.
    Thanks for reminding us that Jesus Christ wants us to trust and not worry.
    There used to be a grand old Scotsman, in the church I grew up in, who said: “There’s nerrrry a mite u doout about it; woorrrry is unbelief.”
    We enjoyed mimicking his accent, so he contributed to my memory of this.
    Keep writing.

    Dear William,
    Your message was an encouragement to me. Thank you for writing.

    Thanks for the reminder William,
    I find prayers need to be daily. When I see its results, the worry is suppressed.
    May God Bless you richly.

    Good Morning Mr. Hamblen:
    What a great message, and one I really needed. I too am a worrier. I worry about many of the world’s problems I know I could never solve in a million years. Yet I continue to spend hours at night organizing what I would do IF!!
    I loved your rocking chair illustration. So true, worry can keep our minds busy, and often confused, however we go no where with the hours we spend needlessly worrying and truly dying inside.
    The scripture you quoted “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” are words that assure me God is there ready and willing to take care of me and those I worry about. Isn’t scripture wonderful.

    Dear William;
    Good devotional! Thank you.

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