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I’m a mom. And I worry. It comes with the territory.

The nurse brings in the test results, announcing, Good news! You’re pregnant!

And suddenly, the mutant worry gene starts growing—dividing and multiplying its creepy, microscopic, alien mutant cells, in order to take over your mind, your body, your heart. To capture your very soul, forever keeping it chained to a cold stone wall in the dark dungeon called Despair.

My children tell me, Mom, you don’t need to worry about us. Really.

But I do. The world is not a safe place anymore.

Their dad worries, too. He’s just better at hiding it.

Occasionally I remind my kiddos, You’ll be parents someday, and then you’ll understand.

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But moms aren’t the only ones who worry.

Husbands worry about their jobs. What if the new boss doesn’t like me? What if I get fired? What then?

Dads worry about money. Paying for college and the mortgage and hoping the vehicles last another few years before conking out.

Teens and young adults worry about friendships and being accepted and finding love.

The neighbors worry about thieves, vagrants, government conspiracies, about urban sprawl or wells running dry.

And our parents worry. Because they’re growing older. Because the world keeps changing all around them, becoming less familiar as the years go by. Wouldn’t it be nice if things just stayed the same? The way they used to be?

aKodakchromeKidsChristmasTree1940sWhat to do with all our worries?

As they say in literary circles: Murder your darlings.

For writers this means to cut out words and phrases that drain energy from the story: those lovely bits and paragraphs of anything unnecessary, anything causing the narrative to slog. When stories get bogged down in too many details, when the introduction of new characters or unrelated dialogue divert the flow away from the main idea, no matter how brilliant those details are, it’s best to just let them go.

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Worries drain the life out of this life we’ve been given. Leaving us as nothing more than withered shells, held captive by our anxious, imagined fears.

And worry replaces trust. A poor substitute.

So many times I’ve worried needlessly. Yeah, I prayed, too. But my insides knotted a little tightly as those What if scenarios flitted through my brain, tempting me to let go of God’s hand and start wringing my own.

Jesus came to provide amply, abundantly for us, in generous quantities overflowing with His endless supply of personal care, as our Savior, our Comforter, our Helper, our Friend.

He doesn’t want our psyche crippled by What ifs.

He doesn’t want us to wear ourselves out by carrying the extra weight of past grief and regret.

Nor does He want us to wrap ourselves in silky, cocoons of self, Waitin’ on the world to change.

He wants us to live, to move, to breathe with Him at our side, fully trusting, fully confident in Him.

In Isaiah 41 God reminds His people who He is, assuring them of His presence , His willingness and ability to meet their needs, and to defeat their enemies—visible or invisible—and repeats His promise to help.

You are My servant… I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand… For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not, I will help you.  –  Isaiah 41:9, 10 & 13

Why don’t we get it? What more can He do to make His message clearer?

For you and I who belong to Him, we have nothing to worry about. Nothing. Not our kiddos. Not our marriage. Not our jobs. Not the future. Not natural disasters or world events. Absolutely nothing.

So give ’em the ax.

Because He is God.

You are My witnesses, says the Lord… know and believe Me, znd understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, znd besides Me there is no savior.I have declared and saved,

I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God. Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?  –  Isaiah 43:10-13

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