Monday, October 19, 2009

Permission Slip

Remember when you had to get a permission slip from your parents to go to the pumpkin patch or the skating arena or to the zoo with your school? You passed in the slip with a sigh of relief...signed, sealed (well...probably crumpled and full of spaghetti sauce from your dinner table) and delivered. Now you were free to go!

You know, God gives us a permission slip of sorts...permission not to worry. While the rest of the world succumbs to worry and anxiety in times of sickness, singleness, barrenness, loneliness, lack-of-moneyness (sorry...couldn't think of another "ness") - God gives us permission NOT to worry. I'm reading a book by Max Lucado called "Fearless". He writes that Jesus' "most common command emerges from the 'fear not' genre. The Gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to 'not be afraid' or 'not fear' or 'have courage' or 'take heart' or 'be of good cheer'." * My friend Faye reminded me of this a while back.

A few years ago a situation arose that had the potential to be 'awkward' for me and was kind of out of my control. I had thought of so many worst case scenarios and worried so much that by the night before this 'event', I had worked myself up to quite a state of anxiety. I called Faye hoping she would have some sage words of advice and...because she's Faye...she did. :) She just said "Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow." That was it. Seven words. But they were TRUE! It hit me right then that I really didn't have to worry...Jesus was giving me permission not to. Even if the rest of the world would say.."No, really, go ahead..worry! You should!" Jesus was saying "No, don't worry about it." Actually, Matthew 6:25-26 quotes Him as saying; 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

So, that was it. I totally felt permission from God not to worry and was at peace about the whole situation. I felt immense relief at being allowed not to worry. I stepped into the next day with confidence that God was in control and He was.

Now, don't think I've got it all figured out. Fear and worry is probably still my biggest battle and I constantly have to re-certify myself in this lesson. But I always know that God has that permission slip, always signed and always ready.

*Max Lucado, Fearless (Nashville:Thomas Nelson, 2009), 10.


Anonymous said...

Thank God for the permission slip not to worry!! I forget that I have that permission slip some days and do all kinds of needless worry. Thanks for this reminder!!


Christie S.E. Blackwood said...

Thanks for your support UF! :)

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