Thursday, January 2, 2014

A winter storm and if you're thinking what if

Today my son leaves for a few days to points north. He travels a couple of hundred miles to a picturesque valley nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains.

 But in order to get there, he has to traverse a few imposing mountains. A winter storm is imminent—and cell phone service is sketchy.

Though he hopes to arrive a couple of hours before the storm blows in and temperatures descend into the teens, this mom is battling fear over his travel plans.

I don’t even know if he has a pair of gloves.

I ransacked the house for cold weather and roadside emergency gear and assembled them in a bag.

Yeah, I know. He’s a grown man. He’s an Eagle Scout for crying out loud. Trained to be prepared. But it’s so hard to turn off the Mom button.

And the “what if” thoughts assault.

When I was recovering from Posttraumatic stress, one of the many challenges was to allow God to change my thoughts.

Imagination can be a wonderful thing. But there’s a dark side to having a huge imagination. The enemy can run rampant in it. Thomas Jefferson said, “How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.” Mark Twain echoed the thought, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

The apostle Paul declares, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

I had to learn any sentence that began with the words, “what if,” could produce anxiety. In time, I learned to replace those thoughts with the truth of God.

“What if we suffer a financial reversal?”

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

“What if I run out of ideas for my writing?”

“But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16).

And in this instance, “What if something (and I could come up with a hundred something’s) happens on my son’s trip?”

From Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”

It simply comes down to whether I’m going to trust God with everything, or whether I still feel it’s up to me to control my little corner of the universe.

And I know for sure, that we’re in big trouble if it’s up to me.

So, I give my son to God, once more.

If you’re like me and tempted to fret over something beyond your control, anyway, here’s to thanking God for turning our fretting into the freedom of trust.


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