Even some of us who are a little more buttoned-up than others would like to be happy and carefree once in a while. But it’s not so easy for us worriers.
My dear old granny used to say, “If I worry about it, it won’t happen.” She, of course, said that in response to some calamity she knew would befall her and her house if she did not head it off with some serious fretting. It was a philosophy she lived by almost all of her life since she did not become a Christian until she reached old age.
Having shared that, you can see how I come by it naturally. It’s hereditary. You can’t fight that, can you? Whenever members of my family travel, I figure out what time they should arrive at their destination. If I don’t hear from them within a reasonable time I start to imagine all sorts of horrible happenings. There must be trouble or they would have called, I reason (unreason is more like it). Some of you know what I’m talking about. It can be so draining being in charge of so much. Well you know what? I’m tired of living a dubious, doubtful life. Something is very wrong with living constantly consumed by worry. And recently I was able to understand why.
A few months ago I bought myself a study Bible. A Hebrew-Greek Study Bible to be exact. This Bible identifies the key words of the original languages and gives explanations of their meaning and usage. It has been so much fun to read a text and look up particular words that strike me at the moment. That’s how I received this revelation that changed my way of thinking.
One morning I was reading Psalm 9:10: "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."
Since I was finding it challenging to trust God, the word “trust” stood out to me on the page. I decided to study further. The word is “batach” in Hebrew. It means “to attach oneself, to trust, confide in, feel safe, be confident, secure….” But then I read the next three words: “…to be careless.” I couldn’t imagine how that got in there. “Careless?” I thought it must be an error. To me the word “careless” has always had a negative connotation.
I couldn’t stop there so I got out my big World Book dictionary and looked up the word “careless” in English thinking that would set things straight. It gave me just what I thought it would:
1. “not thinking what one says or not watching what one does; not taking enough pains; not careful.”
But as I continued to read down, there at number four was the same unexpected definition:
4. “not caring or troubling.”
As I said the word slowly I began to see it in a new light. “Care-less.” He wants me to be without “care.” While thinking on that, other verses popped into my mind that really say the same thing. In Phillipians 4:6, Paul says, “Be careful for nothing” (KJV). In Luke, Jesus also says: “Martha [Emily], Martha [Emily], thou art careful and troubled about many things” (10:41, KJV).
I found myself in prayer:
Lord, I am care-full about many things. But I want to be care-less. Careless in my worry over my family, for you have not given me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). I want to be careless in my ability to be all I can be, because you said I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Phillipians 4:6). I want to be careless without fear of the future because you said, "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25). Amen
I’m going to resign my post as caretaker of the world and instead pursue the position of child. I’m free to just be. Free to run. Free to stumble. Free to fall and get up. Free to fall and get up again. All the while being confident that my heavenly Father is always watching, always protecting, always encouraging and always care-full so I don’t have to be.
That’s his job. The whole universe is in his keeping. Just as we want our children to play and learn and grow in the safety of our love without a care in this world, our Heavenly Father wants us to experience that same joy, the same confident joy, that only comes from “care-lessly” trusting in him.
Sometimes, when worry weighs us down, it can really help to invite someone else to pray with us. We offer a free, confidential online mentoring service to all our readers. If you would like one of our mentors to pray with you, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below. One of our volunteers will reach out to you as soon as possible.