I’ve No Cause For Worry Or For Fear

Three weeks ago today, I found myself in my car, parked outside a medical building that I had not been to in over 10 years.  Although it was years ago, I remember sitting in my car in that same parking lot, crying about results from an exam I had just had.  I wrote about that in Joy-Tester.

I was unable to hold back my tears.  My emotions were right on the surface, only this time the tears were for a blood test I was about to take.  I tried to evaluate my response and wondered, “Why am I losing control this time?”  It was simply worry and fear.  Worry about the future.  Fear that the test might reveal results I didn’t want to accept, which led me to worry about what could happen after that.  As a young child, I trusted Christ as my Savior, yet didn’t my worry and fear translate that I couldn’t trust Him with my current or future circumstances – with whatever His will is for my life?

Fear is defined as a strong emotion caused by anticipation of danger or anxious concern.  Worry is similar, meaning mental distress resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated.  Yet as Carolina Sandell Berg penned in the song, Day By Day, “I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.”

Why?  Because faith’s sweet consolation is my comfort.  “God never gives feeling to enable us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to encourage us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to show that we have already and utterly trusted Him.  God gives feeling only when He sees that we trust Him apart from all feeling, resting on His own Word, and on His own faithfulness to His promise.”  (Streams, September 26).  Faith alleviates my feelings and emotions.  Faith moves me forward to the next step.

Picture a little girl who is scared of the path ahead, but still, she looks up and takes her daddy’s hand and starts to walk with him.  She doesn’t have to be afraid.  She just needs to trust.  We must put our hand in the hand of God just like that and trust He will lead us, even if we don’t know where we are headed.

“The clinging hand of His child

makes a desperate situation a delight to Him.” 

Streams in the Desert, October 14

I have since gotten the results of my test, and although there are still unknowns, I can honestly say I have not worried or been fearful about the situation anymore.   I’ve been where you are: desperately wanting to have a baby, and now that I’m on the other side, it is easy for me to say, “have faith, rejoice, and trust.”  While that is true, this recent experience brought me back to a place where I could remember what it’s like to be IN that moment where you are right now.  I had to trust Him then and I have to trust Him now.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,

it only saps today of its joy.”

Leo Buscaglia in Zig Ziglar’s Something to Smile About

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Be A Self-Encourager: Encouraging Yourself Through Song: “Day By Day And With Each Passing Moment” by Carolina Sandell Berg

Earlier, I wrote how “It Is Well With My Soul” was one hymn that has held special meaning for me.  “Day By Day” is the other classic hymn that has encouraged me.  Our choir has often sung it.  In my journal, I had written about a particular instance in July 2003 when we were practicing it.  I wanted to mean the words I was singing, and the tears started to flow.  I tried to control it, but they just wouldn’t stop.  After excusing myself, I tried to leave the building and go home, but a friend spotted me and wouldn’t let me sneak out.  Instead we talked in an office, where she said she prays for me every day.  She encouraged me that day and made me laugh, too.

When our choir practiced the next Sunday as final preparation before the service, I realized I must not have been the only one down in my spirit.  Our music director said it wasn’t supposed to be a grievous, mourning song, so smile!  I thought of that the whole song through, and made it, praise the Lord.

“Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell, the daughter of a Swedish Lutheran minister.  She was stricken with a paralysis as a young child.  In 1858, at the age of 26, Lina was accompanying her father aboard a ship from Jonkoping to Gothenberg across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch, which caused her father to fall overboard and drown before her very eyes.  Sources often give this tragic event as the motivation for the writing of this hymn, which reflects a simple child-like trust in Christ and a deep sense of his abiding presence, despite adversity.

 ~

 Day by Day And With Each Passing Moment

Words by Carolina Sandell Berg

Tr. Andrew L. Skoog

Music by Oscar Ahnfelt

~

Day by day and with each passing moment,

Strength I find to meet my trials here;

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,

I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure

Gives unto each day what He deems best;

Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,

Mingling toil with peace and rest.

~

Every day the Lord Himself is near me

With a special mercy for each hour.

All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,

He whose name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of His child and treasure

Is a charge that on Himself He laid;

“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”

This the pledge to me He made.

~

Help me then in every tribulation

So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation

Offered me within Thy holy word.

Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,

E’er to take, as from a  father’s hand,

One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,

Till I reach the promised land.

~

Day By Day by Maya Uniputty

Although only the first verse is in English, this woman’s voice is beautiful.

Day By Day piano by Mattias Nilsson

With Patience, Wait.

Several years ago on my journey of infertility, I had read the February 21st Streams in the Desert entry and was encouraged by the devotion on waiting patiently.  After reading it in the morning and coming home that evening, somewhere in-between, I had forgotten what I had read and probably experienced all the w’s in just a few short hours!  How weak in the flesh that made me feel!  Thankfully, God is patient with me.

This devotion is for those who have “prayed and prayed and waited and waited, and still there is no manifestation”, who are “tired of seeing nothing move”, and who are “just at the point of giving it all up”.  The author tells us we are not waiting in the right way.  We must wait with patience.  These are not my thoughts, just the excerpts of the devotion that encouraged me to keep waiting and doing it patiently.

Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

  • Worry – Patience takes away worry. He said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence.
  • Weeping – Patience takes away weeping.  Why feel sad and despondent?  He knows our needs better than we do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all.
  • Works – Patience takes away self-works. The work He desires is that we believe and when we believe, we may then know that all is well.
  • Want – Patience takes away all want. Our desire for the thing we wish for is perhaps stronger than our desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.
  • Weakening – Patience takes away all weakening. Instead of having the delaying time, a time of letting go, know that God is getting a larger supply ready and must get you ready too.
  • Wobbling – Patience takes away all wobbling. God’s foundations are steady; and when His patience is within, we are steady while we wait.
  • Worship – Patience gives worship. A praiseful patience – sometimes “longsuffering with joyfulness” –  is the best part of it all!

By C.H.P., Streams in the Desert, February 21st

Joy-Stealer #3: Worry – Philippians 4

Note: Although Philippians 3 talks about the third joy-stealer – things – I am skipping to Philippians 4 and the last joy-stealer – worry.  The joy-stealers that affected me the most in this trial of infertility were circumstances, people, and worry, so that is my purpose in focusing on those three.

In my previous post, Paths Unknown but Not Alone, I mentioned a couple of things that worried me: the unknown, the cost of fertility treatments.  Wiersbe said worry is wrong thinking (the mind) and wrong feeling (the heart).  Worry is the greatest thief of joy.  The answer to worry is the secure mind.  Jesus wants us to know that He knows what we are going through.  He was acquainted with grief and afflicted, but He had joy, as did Paul.

The journey of infertility can be a cycle of ups and downs.  Good news makes us happy and bad news makes us worry.  The secure mind has faith in God and the peace of God.  It doesn’t mean we won’t experience disappointments.  Smiles do not always mean there is joy.  Likewise, tears do not always mean there is no joy.

Philippians 4:6-9 tells us how we can have a secure mind through right praying, right thinking, and right living.

Verses 6-7 say, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Wiersbe said being anxious means to be pulled in different directions.  Hopes pull us in one direction; fears pull us in the opposite direction.  No wonder I felt pulled apart!  That’s what worry does to us.  Preacher described this verse as “not to be full of cares for anything.”  When worry comes, pray about it.  Prayer guards the heart and mind to keep worry out.

Verse 8 gives us the tools for right thinking by telling us, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  If we could see snapshots of our thought life, especially when we stop and see what we are worrying about, what would we be thinking about – is it these things?  Our feelings operate all the time; right thinking is harder.

Verse 9 talks about right living.  “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”  Paul learned by experience to be content and a victor over circumstances, and we can, too!  We don’t like everything that comes into our lives, but if God allowed it, there is a purpose.  We can have joy in thinking of what God has done in our lives and where He has brought us.  Can we look back and see growth has taken place?

D.L. Moody said, “Happiness is caused by things which happen around me, and circumstances will mar it, but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day, joy flows all through persecution and opposition; it flows right along, for it is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart, a secret spring which the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about it; but the Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.”

“Sunshine of Today” by Legacy Five

I’ve heard it said that a day of worry

is rougher than a week of working hard.

I’ve looked too long at what concerns me

instead of just looking at who You are.

I’m going to start trusting in Your timing

and trusting in Your love

Because as long as my life is in Your hands,

I’m going to be taken care of.

………………………………………………

You tell me to cast my cares upon You

and everything I do I always see

even before I ask You, Jesus,

You know what I need

Because You care for me.

There’s so much that You’ve shown me

lately, reminding me again,

It’s an old, old truth that worry ends

where trusting You begins.

…………………………………………………..

No more letting the clouds of tomorrow

steal the sunshine of today.

No more living in fear and sorrow

for what hasn’t come my way.

No more looking for trouble to borrow,

gonna face what comes with faith.

No more letting the clouds of tomorrow

steal the sunshine of today.

From Heroes of the Faith Album, 2001