Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 15, 2010

it can be so taxing

Today is that one day that some people dread all year long. Taxes are due, and if you have more tax to pay…well, I will stop there and not add to your misery. Have you ever noticed that worrying about the taxes you owe or extending your return (and misery) doesn’t eliminate the problem? It’s like that with worry! Emotional, and spiritual, and physical energy is given to something that will not change the facts. Corrie Ten Boom gives us great counsel on worry: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Read that one more time.

As I think about worry, I am struck with two thoughts. First, God’s Word gives us very strong insight about it. And second, that most Christ followers worry better than they rest in the Lord’s grace and provision. It’s easy to say, “you don’t know my issues” or “that is just the way that I am”, but it is clear from Scripture that we have the capacity to overcome this common malady. I find that there are areas of my life where it is easy to drift from confident faith to fretful worry. I know the Word, and have the right answers for others, but without consciously choosing to rest in His power and provision, I can worry up a storm. Pardon my southern roots, but I am sure you can relate.

Let the words of Luke 12 give you confidence for today’s worry and tomorrow’s taxes.

Luke 12:22-26
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

The words of Luke are clear. God cares for ravens and He cares for us, and worry won’t add a single hour to our lives. Would it be reasonable to assume that if you and I daily yield each part of our day to His care, more internal rest will come? I think Scripture is clear.  And don’t be mistaken, it is not by saying, “I will not worry, I will not worry” that we overcome it. Victory comes by committing all things to the Father’s care, and then choosing to believe His Word. A story of George Mueller, a pastor from the 1800’s, gives greater emphasis to my challenge.

The captain of an ocean steamer tells that on one occasion his ship was engulfed in a dense fog off the coast of Newfoundland. It was Wednesday evening and the captain had been off the bridge for 24 hours when someone tapping him on his shoulder startled him. He turned and saw one of his passengers … George Mueller. “Captain,” said Mueller, “ I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.” “That’s impossible!” replied the captain. “I’m helpless!” Mueller suggested, “Let’s go down to the chart room and pray.” The captain thought that he had a lunatic on board. “Do you know how dense the fog is?” he asked. “No,” came the reply, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.” Once in the chart room, Mueller got down on his knees and prayed, “O Lord, if it is consistent with thy will, please remove this fog in 5 minutes. Thou knowest the engagement Thou didst make for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is thy will.”

After Mueller prayed, the Captain started to pray. Mueller stopped him and said, “there’s no use for you to pray, God has already answered my prayer. The fog is gone.” AND IT WAS GONE!

Let the words of Corrie Ten Boom, the testimony of George Mueller, and most importantly the Word of God, give you fresh encouragement to surrender your worry.

You may just find that the fog will lift!

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