This happens to me sometimes. Every once in awhile, I wake up ridiculously early because of an exciting plan like catching a flight to a fun vacation destination. But usually, sleep difficulties are much less fun experience. What wakes me up? The majority of the time, it’s worry.
At those times, my brain can’t stop thinking about the to-do list. My thoughts are wide awake even though my body is tired. Last night, I woke up worrying that the plumbing issues occurring at the iHope building might have escalated, and what if the toilet overflowed in the middle of the night, and then the water was just pouring out, ruining the floor, ruining the carpet, and we’d come in this morning to a huge mess… what if, what if, what if….
(P.S. – None of this happened. Everything this morning was fine.)
This article by Tim Challies suggests some reasons why we are prone to worry. Primarily, that we think worrying is caring, and that we worry in order to try to solve something. Does this work? Of course not. Worry is much more likely to drain our energy, keep us up at night, and negatively impact how we handle the situation that we are worrying about. I’m a lot less like to act with wisdom and discernment if I’m sleep-deprived.
God has a lot to say about worry. Perhaps the most well-known is from Matthew 6: 24-34 which concludes with:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life – food, clothes, etc.] 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.”
Our Lord tells us to seek him first – his kingdom and his righteousness. Why? Because when we know him, we trust him. And when we trust him, we don’t worry. He is completely worthy of our trust, and He is completely in control.
Does God always do things that way we want? No. Does He always do what we think is best? Of course not. But this is because He is God, and we are not! He knows the big picture, and we know the small moment right in front of us. His plans are perfect, while ours are flawed, typically influenced by emotion, selfishness, or the wisdom we can muster up.
Of course, it’s not helpful to simply say “Don’t worry.” We need to handle our worry in the right way – giving it to God in prayer. That’s what I did this morning at 3:30 am. I prayed. I asked for God’s hand to control the situation, asked for his peace to allow me to go back to sleep, and asked him to lead the mission and vision of iHope. He knows exactly how a plumbing problem would impact us, and if He allows it, then there must be a plan. Prayer is far more powerful than worry. When I worry, I look to myself to handle it. When I pray, I look to God to handle it.
I have no doubt who is the better Person to take control of the situation!
Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director