Most Christians agree that adultery is wrong. God’s beef against His people in the Old Testament was serial spiritual adultery, worshipping other Gods, disobedience, and breaking covenant. We are blessed by the Holy Spirit, yet continue to worship the idol of worry.
In the late 1970s, I bought a Sherman on the Mount greeting card. I cut it in half, mounting the front of the card in the left half of a 5×7 hinged frame and the inside of the card on the right. The colorful little cartoon monk wears a beatific expression on the front, suggesting something wonderful.
The front of the card reads: I just saw God
A sober Sherman writes on the inside: and He wasn’t smiling.
Why I’ve packed this card around for forty years is a mystery. It’s safely boxed up, but I predict it will move to my office bookcase before Thanksgiving. I always knew there was a bigger message from Sherman than just a witty greeting, and maybe now I’ve figured it out.
Worry. Maybe it’s about worry.
God does not smile when you worry.
Building a Bomb-Proof Horse
Bo, one of my original amazing grays, came into my life in 2006, a handsome and athletic rose gray two-year-old who’d never been haltered. I rode him less than 45 times our first year together because we sold the ranch, moved to a smaller facility we built on one of our remote hayfields, and spent much of the next year caring for my husband’s parents until they passed away.
As a five-year-old, Bo was getting pretty broke, although not highly trained. There’s a big difference. Broke is solid on the basics and dependable; trained is highly skilled in a particular discipline.
Bo and a few other horses auditioned to see who would become my horse. I chose Bo, but that didn’t mean he was perfect. Almost, but not quite. Kind of like you and me, mostly there, but still needing a bit of polish.
Bo’s Legend Grows
After a sweaty workout one day, Bo was butt-to-the-wall in our indoor wash rack. He wasn’t tied, and could see out the breezeway door at the end of the concrete wall not six feet away from his muzzle.
There was a quick-disconnect on the end of the hose to make changing sprinklers and nozzles fast and easy. After popping the spray nozzle onto the hose I turned the water on full blast.
For a moment all was well, then the nozzle blew off the end of the hose like a bomb, the explosion at Bo’s hocks, water blasting, immediately soaking his hindquarters. Any self-respecting horse without a death wish would skedaddle out of the barn to a safe distance before looking back to see if I survived.
Bo didn’t move one hoof. He tucked his butt a little and swiveled his ears backwards, but that was it.
Fear and faith can’t occupy the same real estate. Worry and fear are the same thing. Bo didn’t worry because I was there, and he had total faith in me.
I was humbled.
Bombs and Barrels Are Not the Same
A few months later, Bo and I were at a mounted shooting event. I expected Bo to be the steady, dependable fellow he always was. After all, he withstood an explosion without concern. Nothing bothered my Mr. Bo.
Mounted shooting wasn’t new for us, and there was nothing unusual about this day; except a blue barrel across the road from the arena about 500 feet away. Bo saw it and went rigid: stiff-necked, head raised, back hollowed, ears trained directly on the barrel.
Anyone watching could say, “I just saw Lynn, and she wasn’t smiling.”
Worry is An Insult
Bo’s reaction was totally out of character. I wasn’t angry or upset, but mystified and disappointed, insulted and a bit sad, but still committed to doing what was best for Bo because that’s how our relationship works.
The blue barrel had nothing to do with Bo in the moment, it couldn’t touch him and wasn’t moving. It’s only attraction, the reason Bo ripped his focus from me to the barrel, is that it existed.
Bo never worried when he considered me first because I never gave him reason to mistrust me. His attention on the silly barrel, incapable of doing him harm, was greater than his focus on me. Thus, his concern and my dilemma.
Worry is Rejection
How do you feel when your horse frets, has a case of nerves, or spooks? Rejected, inadequate, angry, frustrated, or a failure?
You prepared, calculated, invested, studied, sweated, groomed, paid outlandish bills, and provide everything he needs because your commitment has no limit. When you’re there, your horse has no reason for concern.
Today your horse trusts you and tomorrow he turns into a quivering bowl of pony pudding. Without reason. That’s the worst kind of rejection.
Why then, do we show that face to God, the Author of our beginning and ending, the God who provided a ram to Abraham and the means to dissolve every fear and concern?
Worry is wrong.
Thy Will Be Done
There is a battle in the heavenlies between God and Satan. “We do not war against flesh and blood.” Don’t be fooled, don’t fear, don’t harbor resentment against anyone, and always look to God first before reading the day’s news.
God is able to meet every challenge and transform anything into anything else. Most Christian worry lives in the fear that though God can do anything, He may not choose to do it the way we want Him to. All we have to offer God is ourselves. Worry is not a gift. It’s wrong.
Worry is never God’s desire for us. His will is that we seek first the kingdom of God, trust Him for all we need, and know that He will provide precisely what we require precisely when our need is greatest.
Related post: The Truth About Change–Faith and Worry Don’t Socialize
Related post: Do You Worry You’re Not Doing Enough?
Tempted or Faith in the Wrong Thing?
Worry is either a temptation indulged in or believing the wrong thing. Rapture and Revelation won’t tell you what to believe, but it will challenge you to be honest about why you believe what you do.
Fair warning: Itching ears will not like this book. Remember, the Spirit of God both draws and repels.