I have three buttons in me.
Hardly a day goes by, but I have my finger firmly pressed on one of them.
The green one is for silly worries that I know aren't real, but for one brief, breath-holding moment, I believe. Like that moment when you are standing in the grocery check out, and you've just rung through $400. worth of groceries, and you reach in your purse for your wallet, and you think, "What if it's not there?" It's stupid because it's always there. My purse is where I keep my wallet. Always. But for a few seconds, my finger hovers as I push the green worry button. Then I feel my wallet all is well.
The yellow worry button is the one I push most often. It's for real worries that might happen. Worrying about my husband driving in bad weather, or having money left at the end of the month, or a sick grandchild or any number of other everyday issues. Most times, my finger is on the button for hours before I realise it. Holding down this button distracts me, keeps me awake at night and generally disrupts my life.
The red worry button is for the paralysing, stomach-dropping times when the worst has happened and you are coping with it. Having you husband of 30 years die, being in a car accident, being sued--those were all times when I pushed the red button. This button is more than a distraction. It turns me into an emotional quadriplegic. I hold my finger on the button, listen to the frenzied thoughts in my head and worry.
When I was a young girl, and elderly lady gave me a card with the following verse on it:
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7.
I can still see the card, with pencil lines to keep her writing straight, which were later rubbed out. It made an enormous impression on me. This lady from church knew me, and knew that this was the verse I needed to take through life.
Obviously, I'm still not good at it.
The challenge is that my finger is on the buttons before I realise it. When I finally think, "Oh yeah, I could pray about that." I've endured hours and hours of worry.
It makes me sad, because I can look back to hundreds of times when God has been with me and helped me through green, yellow and red button kind of worries. He doesn't promise there will be no pain. He knows that there will be. He promises to be with me. And He has been. Every time.
Don't tell me that worry is sin. I know that, and now I feel a heavy weight of guilt on top of my worry. It's not helping.
Tell me what God tells me.
"Don't panic. [Get your finger off the button!]
I'm with you. [When have the buttons ever helped you, anyway? Even once?]
There's no need to fear for I'm your God. [I've been there since day one. You know that.]
I'll give you strength, [to pry your finger off that button!]
Keep a firm grip on you." [I always have, even when you're constantly pushing the button. Because I love you. I love you. I love you.]
It's all about trust. I know that, which is why I put YOU NEED TO TRUST ME in bold letters on my fridge a few years ago, with trust verses all around.
My Father smiles and gently nudges my hand away from the button.
"I've got this one, remember?"