Archive for the ‘Worry’ Category

Our Daily Grace

Posted: May 31, 2012 by clairer in Contentment, Trusting God, Worry

I was a high school junior and I desperately wanted to attend Furman University. The problem, though, was…finances. Furman cost a fortune and the only way that I was going to be able to go there after graduating was if I qualified for a scholars program that winter. Another problem: my SAT score was 50 points short of the threshold for the scholars program. Fifty points isn’t an unrealistic jump between the first and second times testing, so I had high hopes when I retook the SAT that winter. My whole future rested on that test. I needed those points or…the world would end (for me at least).

Two weeks later, at 7am, my mom came into my room to tell me my results: my score fell 100 points. That was it…I couldn’t go to my dream school. I should have been devastated. My mom fully expected me to dissolve into tears on the spot. But…I was strangely at peace. I couldn’t explain it. I suppose it was the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Had someone asked me a week earlier how I expected to react if I didn’t get those 50 points, that was definitely not what I expected. But, this was just one example of something that I’ve seen over and over again throughout the years: God gives us grace to weather storms when they come, not before they do.

It’s so easy to worry about the future – especially about big decisions like college, employment, or marriage. I can’t count how many hours I’ve probably spent thinking and rethinking my future plans. My friends like to laugh at me because my college course schedule has changed probably about a dozen times in my first two years of college. I’ve worried about both likely and unlikely circumstances: what if I fail my classes?…What if I get stuck in a boring job?…What if I become chronically ill? Sometimes I’m not sure how I’d manage to cope if things in my life began to fall apart.

However, one of my pastors once had a wonderful piece of advice for me about worry. He told me that worry is pointless because we’re stressing about something that God has not given us grace for yet.

Corrie ten Boom told a story in her book The Hiding Place about a conversation with her father when she was a little girl:

“Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…”  

Corrie was highlighting precisely what I felt that morning when I found out I could no longer go to my “dream college.” I couldn’t explain the peace that I felt that morning, but I know for sure that that peace was the strength and grace of God that arrived precisely when I needed it. God never promised that we would get everything that we wanted, but He did promise that He would comfort us and would help us to make it through the difficult times. It’s like what Jesus said to his disciples when he cautioned them about persecution, “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.” (Mat. 10:18-19)

When we worry about things before they come, we’re wasting our energy. God gives us the peace and comfort just in time. He supplies our daily grace.