Do you remember Alfred E. Neuman, whose byline was: “What? Me worry?” His face spoke volumes.  Just a goofy look that was at rest and kind of said, “Who cares?”.  As I started writing this I went to the internet, and sure enough, ‘Mad Magazine’ still exists!  (Did not know that!)  I’m now more a fan of things like the ‘Babylon Bee’ for my satire, but I love the image of Alfred and his “What? Me Worry?” attitude.

The injunctions to not worry are peppered throughout the Bible.  The clearest is probably Philippians 4:6, “…do not be anxious about anything”.  Anything.  That is a tall order.  One, I must admit, I fail at so often that it’s embarrassing.  Why is that?  I mean, after all, I’m your Pastor and of course, a spiritual giant.  (In more ways than one 😊) A man who has his act together and surely doesn’t wring his hands and feel anxious like the rest of us.  I worry about our kids, the future, health issues, money issues… I think I’ll stop there, as you are probably getting the picture! The conundrum is, after walking with God for some 50 years now, you would think I’d get the hang of the fact that God has it all in control!  Before throwing myself completely under the bus, I will say I have grown in this area.  But there is a confidence one has as a young man that gets tested when one grows older.  There are new/different challenges, and one of them is the tendency to worry more.  Partly because we know more from life experience – and have seen where bad decisions and ugly choices lead!  The advantage in this battle however is also a wisdom that has graciously been growing as we have walked with Him.  (That wisdom has not affected in any way my ability to fill out a successful March Madness bracket). But the wisdom that God bestows on us as we grow is a beautiful thing!  So, regarding worry… the apostle Paul goes on to say “but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The answer for worry is not anything new.  It’s like an old hymn states “take it to the Lord in prayer”.  In that prayer, I’ve found the Holy Spirit reminding me of so many basic and good things.  Like:  I have no control over most of what I worry about.  He’s better at fixing people than I am.  I have zero say over the weather, the economy, out of control individuals, and the like.  His grace is sufficient.  I will not likely die, until of course I do, and that will be His decision, in His perfect time.  What prayer does, is remind me that I have a Father in heaven who does all things well and loves me more than I can possibly imagine.  He has a plan and it is good.  He will eventually right every wrong. In addition, I love our family, home, and church... but none of this stuff on earth is my final destination... I'm not really home yet. As I remember those things, He is able to impart an incredible peace that surpasses my understanding.

“What? Me worry?”  Probably in the next hour or so…but I’ll go to the Father who will remind me, “Pete, will it do any good?”  I’ll say thanks, and rest in His arms again.  

Pete Nelson