Still learning to trust God during the difficult times? I sure am! I must be really stubborn and a slow learner because no matter how often God comes through for us, I continue to worry and fret. Can you relate?!?
The most recent experience I had with this was a few days ago when our car started to make a horrible metallic scraping noise. This is the same car which had previously been in the repair shop twice in the span of a few weeks and these trips had cost us about $700 total. Plus, our other car had also needed some work which was an additional $300-$400. Our budget for car repair had been drained and my patience was running thin.
So, when my son started backing out of the garage and the car began screaming, I panicked. My son and I ran to my in-law’s house while dialing my cellphone to see if they could give him a ride to work. Fortunately, they were home and were able to come to our rescue. But as soon as they drove away, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
Why was this happening again?
How were we supposed to pay for this?
How would we get my sons to work and to their various activities in the coming days?
When would we get a break from these unexpected expenses?!?
I walked back to my house and the tears flowed as I poured out my heart to God. I called my husband to tell him what had happened and he tried to comfort me. He told me to try not to worry about it. But I did worry! I worried as I watched the tow truck load up our car. And I worried as I went about the rest of my afternoon. I worried so much that I gave myself a migraine.
Why is life so difficult sometimes?
That Wasn’t As Bad As I Imagined
The next day, I received a phone call from the mechanic saying that a stone was trapped between the rotor and the disc and that once he removed it, the noise was gone. It only cost us $40.
What a relief!!! I thanked God for the answered prayer.
And then it hit me. We’ve been through so much more than this and God has always gotten us through. Why do I get so worked up every single time?!?
In the almost 20 years of our marriage, we’ve been hit with lots of unexpected medical bills, car repairs, larger than normal grocery bills, and much more. But God has never abandoned us. Even when we went through a season where my husband was laid off from work or where the companies he worked for went out of business time and time again, God still made sure our needs were always met.
We never missed a meal.
My boys always had clothes and shoes.
We had a roof over our head and we never got behind on our bills.
We didn’t always have everything we wanted – still don’t, actually. And we had to learn to accept help from others. But God took care of us and He never abandoned us. This makes me think of one of my favorite scripture passages, Matthew 6:25-34.
“Therefore I tell you, 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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Do not worry. Why do you worry? Do not worry.
I know this. I repeat these verses to myself over and over. And yet, I find myself worrying way more often than I care to admit. And I make myself miserable thinking about terrible scenarios that rarely materialize.
Why Do We Worry?
Does anyone else struggle with worry?!? I know that God can do anything. He has the power to heal people from the most devastating illnesses, to completely wipe out our debt, and to calm the storm. And yet, I also know that there are plenty of people who experience the loss of their children, the foreclosure of their homes, and mounting bills that they are incapable of paying.
God has the power to do whatever He wants to do but His plans aren’t always the same as mine. Sometimes He allows us to walk the difficult roads in life so that we’ll be able to help empathize with people later. Or to help us develop strength and character. Or for reasons that we may never know.
I have experienced this side of things as well, with my brother’s murder, with miscarriages, and with other tragic circumstances.
So, when difficult things happen in life, what should we do? If we aren’t sure how God will work things out, how can we keep ourselves from worrying?
Here are 4 Things We Should Do Rather Than Worry:
1 – Remember
Rehearse the times that God has come through for you in the past. Remind yourself of these things whenever you find yourself struggling. You may want to write down these incidents in a spiritual or prayer journal so that you won’t forget them.
I’m not always good at recording the times that God has shown up for us in a big way. But even the few times that I have remembered to journal about these experiences are so encouraging me to look back on. Write them down!!!
Also, remember that worry doesn’t do any good. We can worry and fret about things until we’re sick but that doesn’t do anything to change what’s happening. It only makes us less able to deal with our current circumstances.
2 – Trust
No matter how bad things look, God will get you through. Remember that God has promised to give us what we need if we seek Him first.
That doesn’t mean things will always go the way we want them to go. But God has a plan and He is in control. Our job is to obey Him and to trust that He knows what He’s doing.
3 – Pray
Another verse which means a lot to me is Mark 9:24b where a man is talking to Jesus and he says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” In this passage, this man has a son who has been possessed by demons for years and he brings him to Jesus to be healed. He asks Jesus to heal his son “if he can.” Jesus says that everything is possible for the one who believes and the man replies, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
This passage is encouraging to me because it shows me that I’m not the only one who struggles in this way. God understands our weaknesses and He will give us the strength to make it through if we ask for His help.
In this Bible passage, Jesus commands the demons to come out of the boy, even though the father struggled to believe it was possible. And in life, God will also help us even when we have doubts. Take your concerns to Him!
4 – Share
When you’re struggling, it can be extremely comforting to talk through the situation with family or close friends. We weren’t meant to go through this life alone and talking about our issues is therapeutic. It isn’t always easy to be honest when we’re hurting but when we’re willing to open up to others, it makes it easier for them to open up to us when they need a listening ear.
Sometimes God has prepared other people to help stand in the gap for us. When you’re going through a difficult situation, you never know when someone may be in a position to lend a helping hand. We’ve been blessed by having people give us rides in their car, bringing us a meal, giving us short-term loans, helping out with various household repairs for no or low cost, helping us move, watching our boys for us, and a myriad of other things over the years.
Matthew 25:40 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” It isn’t easy admitting to other people that we need help. But sometimes, that’s exactly what we need to do. And when we’re willing to let go of our pride and allow others to assist us we are giving them an opportunity to bring glory to God.
Unfortunately, the next time our car breaks down, or some other unexpected thing happens, my first instinct will probably be to worry and fret. But shortly afterward, I hope and pray that my new habits of Remembering, Trusting, Praying, and Sharing will help turn my thoughts around more quickly and put my focus back where it should be. Rather than focusing on ourselves and our struggles, we must remember to keep our eyes fixed on God and on trusting Him to give us the strength to overcome.
Do you struggle with worry? If not, what advice can you share that has helped you walk more peacefully through difficult circumstances? Please leave a comment below!