Worry and the Danger of Playing God

Some days waking seems a burden. The weight of a thousand worries meets us as soon as our minds are roused from sleep. The “what-if’s” come hard and fast, leaving us feeling hopeless. What if I lose my job? What if my spouse leaves me? What if my kids don’t make it into that school? What if we don’t have enough money?

We imagine all the worst-case scenarios, thinking this will somehow help us prepare for the things that could happen today. You know, I talk to a lot of people, and I have yet to meet one who has prepared themselves emotionally for something hard by worrying. It just doesn’t work.

I love Corrie ten Boom’s quote: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” The entertainment of “what-if’s” actually hurts us rather than helps us.

When we feel we must imagine all the possibilities and try to steel ourselves for the worst, we are playing god. No offense, but you make a terrible god. You don’t have the vision of the big picture needed for preparing you for what is to come. You also don’t have the strength to deal with whatever is coming tomorrow.

Anytime you go to the future by yourself, you go with less than what you could have. You have a God, and He is very strong and very good at being enough for us in the moment. Yes, we will suffer. That is promised. But we don’t have to try to bear it in our own strength. We have the power of the living God within us. We have access to all we could ever need for each scenario that comes up—not because we are super-Christians or have worried ourselves into being prepared—but because Jesus’ Life provides all we need.

Are there “what-if’s” drowning you today? Will you give them over to God, allowing Him to be enough for whatever comes? This requires trust, and trust is hard. But otherwise you are relying on yourself to be strong, patient, forgiving, etc. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have what it takes for all of that.

So, let’s move our minds from the worst-case scenarios and fix them firmly on things above. “Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

This doesn’t mean that we don’t deal with practical, here-and-now life while keeping our mind on some pie-in-the-sky ideal. It means that we recognize our lack of vision and understanding of the greater things. It means that we move our mindset to the One who works in the physical and the supernatural worlds, for He knows all things and can direct us in the best way. And we walk forward in the physical world we bounce around in—cleaning and cooking and raising children and working—but we walk forward in the strength of Jesus, recognizing that only in Him will be ready for the unknown.

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