I’ve always been the type of person who worries excessively. This has always been part of my personality from the time I was a small child, and making drastic changes to such an embedded character trait takes time.
I go about my daily business worrying about how well I accomplish things and if I will have all the resources I need for the future. I worry about the well-being of those I love and what will happen in the future to all of us. I worry about small things and large things alike.
So when I read a text like Matthew 6:25-34, I want to laugh. “God, you’re trying to tell me that I shouldn’t worry. Easier said than done. Releasing the worry won’t be happening here!”
And then I am faced once again with surgery. I’ve tried everything I can to avoid surgery, but I must undergo the procedure once again. For a while, I worried about having to endure this operation once more and did what I could do to avoid it, but there was little I could do. I need to have it.
I will be on the surgical table in the very near future, so worry clouds my mind. There is nothing that I can do once I lie down to have surgery except pray, believing that God knows what I will need and care for me in ways that will strengthen my well-being.
During the procedure, I know that I will be like a lily of the field—unable to care for myself in that period of time. I will be enduring a period in which I am just “being” instead of “doing.” My dependence will be on God and those working with God to bring about my health.
Most of us do not want to be like lilies of the field. We want control, and we want solutions right now. But now and again, life happens, and our time to be like flowers in a field arrives. We come and go with the winds. We allow the rains to wash upon us. Neither we can control. And God wants us to embrace this time so that we can find our well-being again soon.
So I ask for God to take care of me while I am like a lily. I ask God to heal me so that I can work hard once healing happens. And like Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, I ask God to help me always figure out what I can control and what I need to give to God.
This post will be in St. Paul UCC’s March 2017 messenger.