(The following entry reflects on Steve Carter’s message “The Five Requirements of Perseverance,” part two of the Steadfast series. If you missed it or would like a refresher of it, both the video and the transcript are available to you.)
For some people, memorizing Scripture is like drinking a glass of water—the act of discovering a verse and then soaking in each word, each comma, each line break is a natural and necessary part of their daily existence. For me, however, there are only a handful of verses that have jumped off the page and onto my heart. Matthew 6:27, the very first Bible verse that I memorized, got me through my early years as a Christian when I was still learning what it means to place everything in God’s hands and carry no burden myself.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
I used to wake up in the middle of the night and listen to the motor in my mind grind out to-do lists and to-don’t lists and what-if lists until, finally, the white noise of my worries would lull me back to sleep, but it would never bring me rest. The truth is Matthew 6:27 became my midnight mantra for many years—until, one night, it wasn’t anymore. One night, like a baby, I slept through the night.
But lately, I’ve been finding myself awake in the dark hours of the morning again, unable to stop my mind from racing and listing and thinking and, to be honest, worrying.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single moment to his life?”
I thought I was past the point of worry. I thought I had “mastered” it, as if worry is something you can experience, get over, and then check off your list of life experiences. I was wrong. Worry is important. Worry is warning. Worry, when acknowledged, can lead us toward peace.
In our last season, my marriage grew by leaps and bounds when my husband and I started connecting and communicating about the goals that we have for ourselves, for our family, for our marriage, and for our future. We laid out a clear path, and we left that last season armed to achieve our goals. To use Steve Carter’s word, we were passionate about where we were headed. But, sure enough, we have encountered some problems and, right now, we are in the midst of a difficult season, in which people have broken our trust and placed obstacles in the pathway to some of our most exciting goals. And, as it turns out, the situation has unlocked the door for worry to find its way into my heart once again.
But after about three weeks of sleepless nights and crabby comments, I’m breathing. I’m alive. I’m unharmed. God has a plan, and I trust Him. To be honest, my hand is still clenched around the problem, but I can feel my grip loosening. With each prayer and each new sunrise, I am letting go of something that was never mine to worry about in the first place.