“Doctor, I want to thank you for the surgery you did on me to remove my right scrotal swelling. And my groin swelling too. I’m immensely grateful. I was really scared then, especially when the scrotal swelling persisted after the surgery. But you kept saying, ‘Don’t worry. Don’t worry. It would subside.’ That really helped to calm me. And indeed, it went.”
And just like that patient of mine, I’ve made it a culture to always tell my patients, and those around me, not to worry. No matter how bad the prognosis is, I always end my consulting sessions by asking them not to worry. I state the facts about their health condition and about what solutions medicine has to offer, then end with the reassuring note that they should not worry. Because worry helps no one. It rather makes things worse.
And that was exactly what Jesus was saying in Matthew six twenty-five downwards. He asked us not to worry about our life – what we would eat, drink, or wear. He made us understand that life is more than food and clothings. “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” asked Jesus rhetorically. He summed His admonition by asking us not to worry about the mundane things of this world but to place premium on things of eternal value, then other things would be sorted out.
I’ve found out that worry does more damage in our society than many of us realise. Many people suffer from mental health issues because they have allowed the enomousity of their problems to weigh them down. Depression is on the rise. Its prevalence is so high now that we read in the news almost everyday about someone who committed suicide. Chronic diseases like hypertension are on the rise too, worrying being a major factor. Some people struggle with sleepless nights, swallowing pills after pills in order to get some sleep. But after my long consultation with them, I find out that the problem most times is psychological. Worry.
Our work place has not been left unaffected by this menace called worry. Worry has reduced the productivity of many. It has led to some traders giving out the wrong change; to some factory workers letting their hand slide under the machine, chopping off a finger; to some health workers administering the wrong medication to their patients; to some teachers and lecturers assigning the wrong score while marking scripts. The extent of worry’s damage is endless.
Many relationships have been made sour due to worry. When worry sets in, joy disappears. You become disinterested in the activities you do with your love ones and friends. The passion dissipates, and everyone around you is saddled with the responsibility of making you happy. You cast that depressed mood on others around you, making the time spent with them unfruitful, and straining the relationship in the long run.
The apostle Peter in First Peter five verse seven admonished us to cast our cares upon the Lord for He cares for us. And indeed, that’s the solution. Problems exist, no one is denying that. And they always would. But are you to go about your day carrying the heavy load of your problem on your head? The answer is “No”. The Bible has asked you to lay that burden of your problems on the Lord, because He is concerned about you; your life – what you would eat, drink, put on; the man or woman you want to marry, the car you want to drive, the phone you want to buy, the children’s school fees you’re to pay, the bills you’re to settle, and every other mundane things. He is more concerned about them even more than you are. So please put them on Him. Because He is able to carry them and solve them.
There’s this song I love about burdens and problems that I grew up to hear Christians of my father’s age sing. (Those of you born recently, and those who didn’t mix up with Christians of the 19th Century may not know it.) I’d just share the lyrics with you.
“Leave it there. Leave it there. Take your problems to the Lord and leave it there. He will surely deliver you, as you put your trust in Him. Take your problems to the Lord and leave it there.”
Many a times, folks would go to the altar and cry out to the Lord singing the above song, pouring their hearts to Him and casting their burdens on Him. The truth is that many do cast their burdens on the Lord in the place of prayers, but very few leave it there. For many, no sooner did they pray, asking the Lord to take over their problem, did they start worrying about that same problem. If you have laid your problems on the Lord, leave Him to carry it. Don’t bear those burdens again through worry.
And the last time I checked, worry is not a fruit of the spirit. Joy is. So don’t let the devil box you up. Don’t worry, but rather, rejoice evermore.