Christian Living,  Devotions,  Life Stories/Lessons

Borrowed Trouble and a Missing Peace

Key Verses: Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (ESV)

22 years ago, I simultaneously gave birth and said goodbye to my first son. At 36 weeks, he was stillborn. I was crushed by this tragedy, and it propelled me into a cycle of anxiety and fear over the future. Within seconds, my hope and joy of being a mother abruptly morphed into a grief and hopelessness I could never have imagined. Although my trouble in this day was overwhelming, my mind kept dwelling on future trouble. The ‘what-ifs’ weighed me down and kept me from trusting God.

It had been much easier to trust God when I lived in hopeful anticipation of the future. As if the burden was not great enough, I heaped the anxieties of future pain on top of my heavy spirit. I couldn’t hear God at times as my grief was deafeningly loud. My thoughts ran through a litany of future painful scenarios. I thought if I prepared, I could steel myself against further suffering; forgetting that God gives strength in weakness. I would constantly ask, “What if I try again and have to bury another baby?”, or “What if God does not allow me to have a child to love?” And at the heart of it all, “What if God lets me down again?” The ‘what ifs’ went on and on. Stealing my peace. Whittling away at the confidence in my Father. Overshadowing my present ability to experience Him fully and live in joy. But, thankfully, God’s peace and presence went further than my fears.

According to Matthew 6:33-34, the answer to dealing with worries about tomorrow is having confidence in God’s promise to meet our needs. God tells us to trust Him to provide for our basic needs just as He does for the birds of the air and the grass of the field. The provision comes when we seek His kingdom above all else. He promises to give us everything we NEED when we choose to live righteously. Because of God’s faithfulness to us today, we can also trust God to meet our needs in the tomorrows.

With empty arms and a broken heart, I learned to “be still” and know Him as God. Through the loss, God revealed Himself to me in ways I had never known before. He reminded me that hope comes from the reliable promises made to us through Scripture; not our unpredictable circumstances. The ‘what ifs’ suppose a counterfeit control, borrowing troubles that may never exist.

My fears weren’t unfounded. Death had come and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. But Matthew 6:34 encouraged me to trust God today. To live hidden in Christ and cling tightly to the truth of His words. Words of promised presence and unfathomable peace. God will be in the tomorrow; He has promised it. But more importantly, He is with us now. So, I lay down my ‘what-ifs’ and anxious heart and rest in knowing He has full control. No more borrowed trouble. No more missing peace.

Psalm 112:7 “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting the Lord.”

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