My Secret for Dealing with Worry
A one-time seminary professor of mine was battling cancer. He shared some of his experiences of fear and anxiety about death with us. He said, “I have walked the shores of death and learned that God does not give dying grace on a non-dying day.”
We all worry about things in the future and things we can't control. Some of them, like death, are sure to happen; it’s just a matter of a few variables such as when, where, and how. We waste a lot of energy, change nothing, and miss the present experience of life by worrying about drowning while not even being near the water.
I believe God is economical with his provision, including grace. He gave just enough manna to nourish the children of Israel for each day in the wilderness and that day only. The leftovers rotted. He gives grace and strength we need to deal with the issues we face in the present moment and only for those issues in that moment. There is no need for dying grace when we are not actively dying. There is no need for grace for something that may never happen.
When I am tempted to worry about the future and things I can't control, I am helped when I remember that I haven’t the equipment – grace -- to deal with what may happen, only with what is happening now. So, worrying is futile and wasteful. And, I can be confident that when things do happen, grace and strength will be sufficient in that moment, not before, for whatever may come.
Cancer led to the death of my seminary professor but I am confident he faced it courageously with just the grace he needed to do it. His experience impacted me powerfully. I can’t control what will, may, or may not happen. But I can know that I will have the equipment to do so just when I need it, no more and no less. No need in worrying about it now.