Monthly Archives: October 2010

Be prepared!

Proverbs 31:21

When it snows she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. NIV

This verse is part of a long passage in Proverbs extolling the virtues of a good wife.  In The Message, this verse reads, “She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.” MSG

I’m married to a boy scout.  I can’t recite all of the things that a scout aspires to be, but I know that they are called to be trustworthy, clean, reverent, and above all, prepared.

The good wife in Proverbs is prepared.

She has no worries because she has carefully thought through potential outcomes and has made preparations to deal with them when they come.

Once she’s done all that, she’s finished.

She doesn’t obsess over something that she may have forgotten, or some circumstance she may not have anticipated.

Verse 25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” NIV

She’s an amazing woman, with no worries.

There’s a lot here to think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Old Testament, Proverbs, Worry

Trust is serious business

Deuteronomy 1:32-33

In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord, your God, who went ahead of you on your journey in the fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and show you the way you should go. NIV

Again and again, throughout the Bible, we are reminded not to worry.

Repeatedly, we are called to trust God.

And yet, we don’t.

This verse reminds me that to trust in God is both a command and a privilege.  God expects it, and, it hurts him when we don’t do it.

Here, he tells the people to look at all He has done for them.  He has gone ahead of them on every step of their journey out of Egypt and through the dessert.  He has made himself known to them in palpable ways … in a pillar of cloud by day, of fire by night.  He has provided for their every need, spreading manna each morning for them to gather.

And, I love the example of manna.  If I’m recalling correctly, manna couldn’t be kept overnight … if so, it went bad.  The Israelites had to gather new manna each day, except on the Sabbath … they were permitted to gather two days worth prior to the Sabbath and it would not go bad on the Lord’s day.

Each day, I must trust God with everything that day holds.

Just like the Israelites needed the daily ritual of gathering their miracle food to remind them of the source of their strength and their salvation, I must spend time with God each day to nurture my relationship with Him … to cement my dependence on Him … to grow in my trust of Him.

God is my provider.  He knows that.  I know that.

God calls me to trust Him … not to worry, but to trust.

Trust is serious business.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Deuteronomy, Old Testament, Trust, Worry

You won’t be disappointed

Genesis 39:8

But he refused.  “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.” NIV

As I work my way through the listings of the word, “worry” in the New International Reader’s version of the Bible, this is a verse that I’ve skipped over several times … until this morning.

Joseph is speaking here.  He’s explaining to Potiphar’s wife that he cannot sleep with her, “My master has put me in charge,” he told her. “Now he doesn’t have to worry about anything in the house. He trusts me to take care of everything he owns.” NIRV

I chose to look at this verse today because of the clear links between trust and worry.

Potiphar trusted Joseph … therefore Potiphar didn’t worry about his belongings or his household.

Joseph is unwilling to betray that trust … therefore he won’t take advantage of the wife’s offer.

Trust is a fragile thing.  It is not easily given between humans, and it is very easily broken.

But, we can always, always trust God.

And, if we will trust God … who is flawlessly trustworthy … we will never be disappointed.

We won’t have to worry.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

1 Comment

Filed under Genesis, Old Testament, Worry

God has not forgotten you

Luke 12:6

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet, not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. NIV

Several years ago, one of my dearest friends took me to a Women of Faith event.  I had no idea what I was walking in to.  I had never heard of it.  Frankly, I went because I love my friend and it seemed important to her.

She lives several states away, so, it took a couple of days to get there.  First, I flew to her town, then we stayed the night and drove several hours the next morning.  She seemed so excited.

As we entered the massive convention center that Friday morning, it seemed to me that the space dwarfed the few hundred women who had come for the Friday portion of the conference.  All of them, it seemed, were as excited as my friend.

As we took our seats on the floor of the facility, I confess I didn’t have high hopes.  The chair looked uncomfortable, the room was chilly, and it was going to take six years to hike up the stairs if we needed food or the restroom.  But, I put a smile on my face and settled myself next to my friend.

It was a divine appointment.

The first speaker was Patsy Claremont.  I’d never heard of this woman.  I will never forget her.  She told an amazing story of a woman who had tracked her down, with, she said, a message from God.  It had taken the woman quite some effort to find Patsy.  The message was simply, “God has not forgotten you.”

Patsy said she thanked the woman … and that she was a bit confused.  She did not feel forgotten by God.  But then, she said, she realized that it was a message for us, not for her … that she was to deliver that message at this conference.  At this point, she turned, and, it felt, as though she looked straight at me.  This tiny, white haired grandmother said plainly, “God, has not forgotten you.”

I burst into tears.  Turns out, I did feel forgotten.

I cried for most of the next two days as God broke down wall after wall in my heart that I had built up over time.  Tears of gratitude come to my eyes even now as I write this.  I had to have those walls broken down … if I’d stayed behind them, trying my hardest to make success of my life on my own, I would not have survived the last two years.

As it is, I have been pruned, I have been molded, I have been shaped for service, and I am so, so thankful.

Not one of us is forgotten by God.  We are his precious, precious children.  He knows every detail of our lives, every hair on our heads, and he values us.

That’s a reminder not to worry and that’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Luke, New Testament, Worry

Where’s your treasure?

Luke 12: 33-34

Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  NIV

There is so much here!

A purse that won’t wear out … or ever go out of style.

Years ago, when I lived in New York, I bought several bags in different sizes and colors.  I was foolish enough to believe the hype … I was making an investment … these bags would last a lifetime!  Not so.  Perhaps I haven’t taken as good care of them as I should have, but, all show their age, and, in addition to wearing out, they also are out of style.  I love the concept of “vintage.”  Soon, those bags will fit that category, and then, perhaps, they will be new again, but, they will still, eventually, all wear out.

A treasure that will not be exhausted … the ability to live off the interest and never touch the principal.

This was the dream of an older person I once knew.  She felt that if she could build up enough principal to support her for the rest of her life, she could simply live off the interest and have no worries.  Trouble is, prices are constantly increasing … what seemed wholly adequate —  even excessive — years ago is now barely enough to pay the bills … where does all the money go?  The treasure is always exhausted … there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Where no thief comes near and no moth destroys … I want to live there!

Once, my car was stolen from in front of my house.  Right there, at my front door one day … gone the next.  And, one year, moths destroyed all of my sweaters.  As much as I love this part of the country, there are tolls to be paid for living here.

These verses are an awesome reminder.  The Message translates them, “Be generous.  Give to the poor.  Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank-robbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on.  It’s obvious, isn’t it?  The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be and end up being.” MSG

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Luke, New Testament, Worry

Keep an eternal perspective

Luke 12: 32

Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  NIV

I am blessed to have an amazing storyteller in my life.  She has an incredible imagination.  I discovered her gift when I was in line with her and her children at an amusement park.  The line was moving very slowly and we were all hot and bored.  The children asked to be told a story and she complied.  She wove in experiences that we’d had earlier that day and the story went on and on as the entrance to the ride got closer and closer.

As the group before us was poised to enter the attraction, the man in their party said to the attendant, “wait just a second.”  He turned to the storyteller and asked, “How does it end?”  We all laughed, because, in addition to keeping the children enthralled, she had drawn in both the families around us.  She quickly ended the story, we all rode the ride and all was well.

The stories, I learned, all have the same basic theme.  They center around a little boy and a little girl who are the prince and princess of a faraway land where Mother the Queen and Father the King are good and fair rulers, and beloved by all their subjects.

The prince and princess are the heirs to the magical kingdom … they have no worries, except the occasional mussing of a ball gown or the loss of a royal shoe.  Their lives, like the lives of the two small children on whom the stories are based, are secure.  They are loved and cared for and want for nothing.  They have no worries.

This verse says that we are all princes and princesses … the Father has been pleased to give us the kingdom.  We can approach our trials as adventures.  As I write that, I know it sounds naive.  The pain here is enormous … the needs here are so great.  But, if we adopt an eternal perspective, we can work to enjoy our adventures … we can work to make a difference for others … we can live our life here without worries.

Our future is secure.  We know where home is and we know who will be waiting for us when we arrive.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Luke, New Testament, Worry

Where’s your focus?

Luke 12: 29-31

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. NIV

I love this passage.  I especially love the way The Message translates this part of it.

“What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting you can respond to God’s giving.  People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.  Steep yourselves in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” MSG

Getting versus giving.

You always hear that it is better to give than to receive, but this verse isn’t saying that.  If you look closely, the Christian gains something in either case.  In the first, he or she gains a worldly possession, and in the second the gain is a blessing from God.  We have a choice of which to pursue.  If we are focused on doing God’s work, the blessings will come.

God is always at work, in the lives of each and every one of us.  If we are open to being used of God, if we are truly seeking His kingdom and His will, and living our lives as His hands and His feet here on earth, this verse says that we will not have to worry about the basic things … they will be provided.

God provides.  Unit Four of Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God is based on John 14:21, “Whoever has my commands and obeys the, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

God is my provider.  I am His servant.  There are no worries.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Leave a comment

Filed under Luke, New Testament, Worry

You are a cherished child of God

Isaiah 7: 7-8

Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says, “It will not take place, it will not happen, for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.  Within sixty five years, Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.” NIV

One of the things that you get with a WordPress blog is something called a “dashboard.”  It keeps track of all kinds of nifty things for you … first and foremost, the number of posts you’ve written.  In the case of this blog, that number has grown steadily since February … it now reads 231.  Even though this is a number that I track daily as I search out the Bible’s reminders not to worry, I saw it yesterday, and it surprised me.  231 is a number ever so much closer to 365 than I thought I might ever be … it occurred to me that there may be more than 365 reminders not to worry contained between the covers of my NIV Bible, but that I’d best find all of those that can be literally translated to contain the word “worry” now so that I won’t have missed any of them in the final accounting.

So, I went back to the New International Reader’s Version of the Bible, where verse 8 reads, “The capital of Aram is Damascus. And the ruler of Damascus is only Rezin. Do not worry about the people of Ephraim. They will be too crushed to be considered a people. That will happen before 65 years are over.” NIRV

Here, Isaiah has been sent with this message from God to speak with Ahaz, the king of Judah. In verses 5 & 6, a threat against Judah is documented, “Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, ‘Let us invade Judah, let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king over it.'” NIV

But, Isaiah delivers Gods comforting message … “It will not happen.”  It is interesting to me that the reason it will not happen is that “the head of Damascus is only Rezin.”

Only … such an interesting word.

I do some volunteer work with people who are in transition — between jobs.  Frequently, people will introduce themselves using the word “just.”  I’m “just a tester,” or “just an assistant.”

I’m always quick to point out that they should never use that word in an interview … “I’m a tester,” is an infinitely stronger statement.  But, it takes confidence to deliver that line effectively, confidence that people in transition often do not have.

When we encounter hard circumstances in life, our perspective gets adjusted by the world … in those times, we are more prone to use words like, “just” or “only.”

But, this verse reminds me that when God is on our side, as he was on Judah’s, there is not a moment that I am “just” anything.

I am a cherished child of the Living God.  I am redeemed.  I am loved.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


1 Comment

Filed under Isaiah, Old Testament, Worry

You are not alone

Matthew 10:19

But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.  NIV

Here, Jesus is preparing the disciples for the persecution that is sure to come.

What he tells them is beyond comforting … they won’t be on their own.

Even though Christ is preparing to depart this world, he confirms to the disciples that the Holy Spirit will inhabit them … they will not be alone.

Here, thousands of years later, I am not alone either.  The power of the Holy Spirit is mine to draw upon … a comfort in times of stress, a source of peace in times of trouble.

I am not alone.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Matthew, New Testament, Worry

Throw everything you are into achieving the goal

Job 39:22

He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing, he does not shy away from the sword. NIV

I saw the new Disney movie, Secretariat, yesterday. It was beautifully done.

Mid-way through, my husband remarked, “It’s hard to create suspense around a story that everyone already knows the end to.”  He was right, but Disney managed it.

One of the nicest things about the movie was how it began.  You are watching the horse while Diane Lane reads this passage from Job.  Here, God asks Job in verse 19, “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with flowing mane?” NIV

The movie is, of course, a celebration of the horse, but, it also makes clear the role God had in creating such a magnificent creature.

And, I love the larger message of this movie … set goals for yourself that seem impossible to achieve … run the race to the best of your ability and put everything you are into achieving what you believe in.

God made the horse without fear.  Not so with me.

But, He’s given me a roadmap for success and gifted me with all the tools to achieve it.

I am not afraid.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fear, Job, Old Testament, Worry