When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
My toddler boys love it when they get to sit up on the kitchen counter. They get busy right away taking all of the spices off of the spice rack and cheerfully testing the durability of nearly every cooking utensil that they can get their hands on. As the boys sit there playing, they look carefree, happily mixing up imaginary cookies and periodically pretending that the large spoons are swords.
Meanwhile, I am perched behind them, ready to pounce at whatever fall, mess or fight that may occur. My mom-brain is busy calculating a response to every possible scenario that could lead to the need for an ice pack, a vacuum or an emergency room visit. In the middle of their fun, I am exhausting myself with “what if’s”, anxiously waiting for trouble to ensue.
I don’t typically hover over my children awaiting disaster, but there is just something about my boys being up so high and being too young to recognize the possible dangers, that sends me into a frenzy of over-analyzation, and, alright, I’ll say it, worry.
What is worry? Worry is the lack of faith in God’s perfect provision. It causes us to make bad choices or paralyzes us from being able to make choices at all. It brings God's sovereignty into question and leaves no room for faith. Ultimately, worry is the foolish thing that we do when we are afraid that life won’t go our way.
Are there times when it is wise to worry?
No. But, sometimes worry can disguise itself as wisdom. A good example of this is my reaction to the boys sitting up on the counter. Since the boys are so young, it is wise for me to be cautious, to stand close by and to supervise, but it is unwise for me to let that caution turn into a spirit of fear; which 2 Timothy 1:7 says, is not from God.
In this scenario, I was wearing a mask that looked an awful lot like a concerned mom, but in reality, it was just my fear playing dress-up. Not only was I exhausting myself with all of the “what if’s”, but I was also missing out on the sweetness of the moment with my children. Worry deceived me; it caused me to react foolishly and prevented me from enjoying the happiness that was right in front of my face.
Worry will steal our joy if we let it, so we must choose to trust in the Lord at all times. The wisdom that He provides us will never lead us into fear. Instead, as we read in Psalm 94:19, when we are anxious, the Lord will comfort us and restore our joy.
Today, there are many things that have the power to cause us to worry, but we must never allow ourselves to be fooled by this counterfeit wisdom. Instead, we must cling to Godly wisdom; relying on His sovereignty and the truth of His word, which beckons us to not be afraid!
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.