Thur., Feb. 10/22
I worry. I worry terribly at times, and, like many Christians who worry, why I worry confuses me! I trust in Christ. I know He will not abandon me… I know He loves me and is the source of all peace… I know He yet says, “Fear not..,” He asks, “Why do you give thought…” Yet, I do.
We Christians tend to swiftly relegate such matters as worry into the realm of faithlessness, sin, or questionable profession. But I have learned through many years and struggles that worry may not be so much a sin, as it is an enemy.
Prayer, a disciplined mind, Christian fellowship and the truth of God’s Word are all excellent tools to be employed in the defeat of this foe. But excellent also are the tools of good sleep, balanced nutrition, adequate exercise, wholesome activities, and when necessary, medication.
Using pharmaceutical tools to make right chemical imbalances in the brain is not different than using mechanical tools such as casts or crutches to make right physical imbalances in the body. I should not disdain a man with a broken wrist if, in addition to his prayers for recovery, he should also wear a brace or take painkillers. Nor should I disdain the saint who, in addition to all spiritual means, uses properly prescribed medications or psychological tools to aid in his recovery.
In the classic “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge, in denial of the spectre of Christmas past which he sees before him, says to the sight, “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
But no, the visage did not vanish. Scrooge had to see the worrisome thing through, and so might we. When we do, we do not need the added burden of guilt over our worry. But when we see worry more clearly as a foe we can take aim at it more accurately.
Some people seem to embrace worry… to wear it on their sleeve as though it were an indicator of great virtue. But it is not. Thus, Christ says, “Worry not.” He points to the worry-free creatures and elements of His broader creation as examples (see Luke 12:22-32) setting for us a standard… a goal.
“A great many people… seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds’ song and the frosty sunrise.” – The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II
Our Lord loves us, embraces us, and wants us in return to embrace Him. We have many evils and enemies in this present world, and we must combat them with all the tools He makes available to us – be they spiritual, practical, or medical.