To Fret or Not to Fret

6 Jul

Sorry for the delay in posting this morning.  We had a wind storm (no rain, just wind…sigh….) last night that knocked out our internet service.

All of us have things we worry about.  Even those who always smile and act as if they haven’t a care in the world have a worry or two buried deep in their hearts.  Knowing some of you as I do, many of your worries are for other people instead of yourself.  We call it concern (which it truthfully is) so that we don’t have to admit how worried we are.

And so, we fret.  About illnesses, children, jobs, conflict, school, family, finances, friends, enemies, clothes, projects, impressions, opinions, cars, bills, groceries, health, and about 2.3 million (give or take a few) other things every day.

We’re no strangers to fretting.  Life gives us more than enough opportunities to turn on our worry meters and get bogged down by anxiety and fear.  Can I get an Amen!  :)  In fact, we may be more intimately familiar with fret and worry than with other, more positive, action such as praising, celebrating, and living joyfully.

Do not fret — it only causes harm. – Psalm 37:8

Think about your day so far.  How have you spent your time?  Have you spent more time worrying or celebrating?  Stewing or praising?  Fretting or smiling?  Yeah, me, too.  I need to work on this.

I’m sure you know the conventional definition of what it means to fret: to worry or be annoyed and discontent.  But did you know that the word “fret” also means to become eaten, worn or corroded?  That’s what fretting does to us – it eats away at our hope, wears out our peace, and corrodes our spirit.  There are enough things chipping away at my existence to give ANY real estate in my heart and my body to worry and fretting.  How about you?

Oswald Chambers says “fretting rises from our own determination to have our own way.”  That is some truth right there!  I definitely worry the most about things that are most important to me.

  • Your circumstances tell you to worry if your child will be healed and you want desperately for your child to be well and strong.
  • Your circumstances tell you to panic about finding a job because you’ve been unemployed for months and things are getting tight and you need a job badly.
  • Your circumstances tell you freak slap out because the biopsy results are bad and you need him in your life…for many, many more years.
  • Your circumstances tell you to stress over a struggling marriage because you love each other and want it to work.
  • Your circumstances tell you to be fearful the treatment may not work or that the cancer will come back because you want to be DONE with cancer, for good.  :)
  • Your circumstances tell you to be distressed about your financial future because you want to retire comfortably but doubt that may be possible.

But here’s a little secret.  Our circumstances lie.  And even though our worry is done out of a desire to have good things happen to us and those we love, the circumstances are still liars.

Yes. They. Are.

If we look to our circumstances for reassurance, we will always be disappointed because our security is not found in events, things, or people.

Our security – our peace of mind – our confidence – is found in none other than Jesus Christ.

We can’t change many of the things that are happening to us and around us, but we CAN change where we focus our energy.  Lysa TerKeurst explains this as “parking her mind” on things that matter.  When life crowds in and threatens to destroy her peace, she recalls a verse applicable to her situation and parks her mind on it.

Why do you want to park your mind on something temporary or on something that can change?  Plant your thoughts deep into a garden of truth.

For He himself is our peace. – Ephesians 2:14

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? – Matthew 6:25

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. – Isaiah 43:2-3

Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. – I Peter 5:7

As Robert Burdette puts it, “There are two days in the week about which I never worry.  Two carefree days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.  One of these days is yesterday, and the other day I do not worry about is tomorrow.”

Are you up for having a fret-less Friday?  I am.  I hope you’ll join me.

Love you guys!




4 Responses to “To Fret or Not to Fret”

  1. Laura Allen July 6, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Rachel, I believe this and that is why there is peace in the storm. Worry or fretting=DOUBT. I love the saying( DOUBT and do without),” BELIEVE AND RECEIVE.” Worrying is a dead end street with a cement brick wall, but USE your FAITH and clarity “wisdom” directs a clear path. ALWAYS HOPE, Laura

    • rachturner July 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Good words, Laura! Worry = doubt. So true. If we allow ourselves to worry, we are doubting God can fix/change/help our situation. Less worry; more faith, right? :)

  2. Cara Olsen July 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    That is a wonderful quote. I needed that reminder this morning. Thank you, Rachel. Hope you’re well.

    ~ Cara

  3. Tranquil Moments Photography July 9, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I have that quote on my flickr account :)

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