“Do not fret….it only leads to evil.” Psalm 37:8
This week I pondered the phrase “fret not” and wondered what it meant. To fret is to worry, to have the heartburn, to fume. It’s that anxiety over things which we have no control. Fretting over important matters as whether my son would get another job; or worrying over truly inconsequential stuff as whether I would be accepted by new friends who were coming over one evening and if I had the right appetizer. I also fret over those important issues as knowing that some of my friends are looking for employment and still have not had an interview.
I decided to stop reading the Bible, closing it and thinking I was done with the “spiritual” part of my day. If I was going to spend all this time reading the Bible I had better start living out its truths. You know what I mean. If Jesus commanded that I forgive my neighbor before presenting an offering at the altar, I had better forgive! If Jesus said not to judge another, lest I be judged more, then I need to stop passing judgment on others.
This day I decided to practice “Fretting not.” As I rose from my chair on the porch, I consciously kept that short phrase on my mind, repeating aloud once or twice as I prepared the appetizer in the kitchen for the evening gathering.
If you have been a Believer for a few years, you know how we get “put to the test.” This particular morning, as I was putting on my socks and shoes to take a walk on the beach, my phone rang. “Sis,” coughed a scratchy anxious voice. My heart sank, leaped, and skipped a beat, when I heard my mother on the other end. I won’t lie. Not today, Mom, I thought. Of all days, not today. The day that my new friends are coming to my home in Galveston for the first time. Today, you have to go to the ER. Of course I said I’d be right there! Of course! It’s what an only daughter says!
I showered, dressed and jumped in the car and headed up the road to the west side of Houston at ten in the morning. Fret not, I continued to say. I tuned in to a Christian radio station, smiled and literally laughed out loud! Of course, God! I will NOT fret today!
After my brother showed up at the ER on his lunch hour, bless his heart, my mother received the best of care at the second ER hospital down the road. Yes, my brother and I each had an agenda. Evening plans. We stepped out of ear shot of mother who was being attended to by the nurse and looked at one another, wondering who would take the night shift. He said he would. Thank you! At three I jumped back in the car, headed in to the Houston traffic for Galveston, made one grocery/gas station pit stop and arrived back at our home forty-five minutes before the company arrived! Fret not. True, I nearly bit my sweet husband’s head off only once, then apologized and said, “Fret not, Dianne!” Hanging those extra pictures on the wall is not important to this evening!
As the first guests arrived, my heart relaxed. My new friends enjoyed themselves. I suppose it didn’t hurt that I had the most wins, receiving $30 from the pot!
The following morning my husband and I drove back into Houston. My mother went through a day of intense suffering. I sat by her side, praying and holding her hand into the evening.
The third day, I entered my mother’s hospital room to find her sitting in the recliner, unhooked from all machines and ready to be discharged! After proving to the nurse and the doctor that she could indeed “tolerate” a soft breakfast and later a soft lunch, she was free to go! I took her back to her apartment. My husband met me at her apartment with a change of clothes and we left to drive to Pearland to meet the parents of my son’s girlfriend! On time! Fret not!
How do we live the truths in the Bible? Intentionally. Daily. I know He watched over Mother when no one was in the hospital room with her all night. He over saw the busy traffic as I navigated several freeways. Now, is this true of a family who loses their mom to an illness? Yes it is. God looks after each person individually and knows what is ultimately best for each one of us. What does He require?
Look at Psalm 37:3 where it says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this; He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn.” Commit your way. I’m choosing to give God all of my day; my schedule, my thoughts, what I listen to on the radio, my decisions, my words. I’m saying my day is your day, Lord; every day of the week. I trust Him, the creator of the universe for the ordinariness of my day. And when I do, He provides peace. He gives me His great joy! He comforts me all over, even in the snarled traffic while the minutes tick by. I breathe and say out loud, “You have me, God. You know what’s up ahead and you know my scrunched up time schedule and you are so in charge!” He asks us to trust Him. So I fret not. What about you?
Now. Go out with Joy! Be led forth in His peace! Isaiah 55:12