The sermon in church yesterday addressed the temptation to follow traditions rather than the word of God. In my life, this hits home hardest in the area of anxiety.
“Worry,” commands our culture. “Be anxious for nothing, but pray for everything,” my paraphrase of something I think Peter wrote. When I analyze my anxiety, I realize that much of it revolves around ‘me’- I’m not good enough. I’m not saving enough. I’m not working hard enough. Something is going to go wrong, because I’m forgetting something, and God knows we don’t have enough insurance to cover it all!
I think the story of Elisha and the widow’s oil was recorded in the bible for the sake of over-anxious stay-at-home moms like myself. Here is this woman who is having all our worst nightmares come true- her husband dies (i.e., she has no income). Her children are going to be taken away. There is no one to defend her.
Elisha does not preach to her. He does not say, “Why didn’t your husband purchase life insurance? Why didn’t you two have retirement savings? And why the hell were you in debt? Don’t you know debt is evil? Ok, fine, fine, I’ll help you, but this better be the last bloody time you are so inept.” He just tells her to fill a bunch of jars with oil. She obeys (not worries) and God miraculously provides. The two things the woman ‘did’ to secure her salvation were to run to God and to obey.
So I guess my point is- I need to trust and obey God, rather than choosing to worry. Sounds easy, but I know God is going to have to work a long time on this one. Those habits of anxiety and stress have roots that are too deeply entrenched in my soul to come out without a fight. But I’m not going to worry about it! I’ll let God take care of it. Meanwhile…where is that checkbook? I can’t remember the balance…