Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Worry changes nothing

(Photo 2002; 3 weeks after Hope and Isaac came home from Haiti.) (On right, new photo of Hope w/grandma.)

When we first met our Haitian daughter, in April of 2002. She was tiny and sort of frail looking. We believed that Hope was the most fitting new name for her.

During the six months of her adoption she became very malnurished and sick. One night we recieved an email from Haiti that said "Astride just screams, no one can touch her." "Please bring medicine."

That was it. The email ended at that. As you might imagine, we were freaking out. We felt totally helpless, we needed more information but none was available.

At the time, I was not able to step back from the situation and have faith that anything good could happen. I thought for sure the next email would tell me she had died. I let fear grip me for the next several hours.

You might be wondering why the heck I am telling you this????? Maybe you are worrying/fearful about something in your life?

I have been reminded that the Bible has lots to say about fear. There is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. The problem starts when you make up a bunch of scenerios in your head that lead you to an unhealthy place of non-stop worry that immobilzes you. I had a couple of days like that last week. I believe that God can release us from the grip of fear if we ask Him to help us.

I spent the end of last week worrying about all sorts of things that are not too big for God. He delivered Hope out of Haiti in time for her to have surgery and become a totally healthy little girl. All my fears, worrying and fretting about it changed nothing. It is easy to forget all of the things He has done for me. It is easy to forget that worrying changes NOTHING!

I confess that I have been fearful. Afraid that He would not provide for us once we are in Haiti, afraid that our house would not rent, afraid that the work in Haiti will be too hard for us ... and on and on and on --- the rest are too silly to share with you! Along with God's provision & answered prayers, the verses below were great reminders to me.

"I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4).

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:6-7)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7)

"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?" (Luke 12:22-26, NIV).