I find lately that I am worrying more than usual lately. Not about myself, but about other people. It’s difficult to love people, think they may be making some mistakes in their lives, and realize that there is very little that you can do about it.
I tend to be fairly open with my opinions, but I struggle about when it is time to speak up and when it is time to mind my own business and keep my mouth shut. Often I don’t know what is going on for sure…..there is just that inkling that someone is headed for trouble, and I don’t have real evidence. They don’t bring it up, possibly because they think they will disappoint me or possibly because it is their dirty little secret that they would rather keep private (be they cherishing it or feeling ashamed.) But I feel like they are hanging over the edge and not crying out for help and it’s frustrating….I want to do something.
I also know that maybe it is nothing and I am over-reacting….or maybe they have it under control and I should have confidence in them. I don’t believe my intuition is always right….and sometimes I hope it is completely off base. I also know that all problems don’t concern me….and there are boundaries that I don’t need to cross.
There are other times when I know they are in trouble…..underwater and gasping for breath. They have taken a running leap off the edge, and are in the midst of a freefall. They have made mistakes that will forever impact their life. Yet there is a chance that they can leap from the bottom of the pit and fly. It will take hard work and great desire….and a realization that they are responsible for their own actions. It is possible. But until I know what their choice will be….I often worry.
I read a quote that said “Worry is momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good, sovereign God.” (Randy Alcorn)
It made me think….and remember what I already know, and yet I somehow keep forgetting. I have to trust God. Not just with my own life, but with the lives of those I love. While some things that happen to me are beyond my control, almost all things in the lives of others are. They get to to choose how to live. They get to decide whether to listen to the voice of God, or worship a god of their own (even the god of self, others, self-pity, anger, immaturity, or evil.) They get to decide how to wear their faith….naked as a jaybird, covered by a shroud, or as a Halloween costume. They can even step off the ledge and freefall into a life that I know will bring them despair or pain. For some reason God has given them that choice…and if I trust in a good, sovereign God, then who am I to question the wisdom of that?
Scripture tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond all cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) I can’t just listen to my heart here…it can lie to me. I have to also use my brain. But most of all, I need to keep my eyes and ears attuned to the hands and voice of God. Anxiety is a choice and is time wasted. My job is to pray and and believe and watch God work. There are times when I need to get involved, but often I need to just watch and pray. God is at work and doesn’t want me in there messing up things…He’ll call me if He needs me.
Sometimes….I dare say, even often….people are going to come through. They are going to learn and grow and do good things, even if it takes some major bumps along the way. I think the voice of the Spirit is loud and constant….and I believe it is an ongoing dialogue in their ears. I believe that voice can drown out their (our) will. My prayer is going to be that He increases the volume…..for them and for me….and that I will be sensitive when God calls me to action, and when he merely wants me to shut up, trust Him, and stay out of the way.