This thought literally just popped into my head in the middle of the night – so I don’t know if it’ll seem as profound to anyone else! – but as a major perfectionist (I’m not kidding: if I don’t like my handwriting on a certain page, I’ll literally throw out the entire notebook) this little thought really brought me a lot of comfort:
Like I said, I don’t know if this will hit home for anyone else, but for me: I’m constantly re-playing events and memories in my head (and through endless conversations with my poor friends and family that go in a million circles!) in an attempt to iron things out and make everything fit all nice and perfect and feel comfortable. And (surprise!) I usually end up feeling more anxious than when I started.
But the Bible gives us plenty of reassurance that things are already okay – no ironing out necessary:
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:27-30)
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
(For more on anxiety and the Bible, check out one of my very first blog posts.)
So where does the devil – or enemy or darkness – come into all this?
For anyone who’s never read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis:
1) You need to read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis!!
2) The book is set up as a series of fictional letters between the devil and his nephew – the nephew asks questions about capturing souls and the devil responds with how-to tips and ‘tricks of the trade.’
In one exchange, the devil explains the importance of keeping humans’ time tied up in worrying about the past and future:
We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now […] It follows then, in general, and other things being equal, that it is better for your patient to be filled with anxiety or hope (it doesn’t much matter which) about [whatever is bothering him] than for him to be living in the present. (p. 78)
The humans live in time but [God] destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend to chiefly two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the only point at which time touches eternity. (p. 75)
The moral of the story being…
God already has everything taken care of ♥ And all the time we spend doubting His Grace or worrying that maybe He forgot about one aspect of our problem or didn’t completely take care of another one of our worries? That’s just time that the enemy’s trying to steal!
So relax – hand all of your anxiety over to God – and enjoy your holidays :)
God’s got this ;)
(And seriously: if you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, you can’t go wrong with The Screwtape Letters! One of my favorite books of all time!) It’s available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon ♥