Making up stories. Telling the truth.

Daaa-Dum. ...Daaa-Dum. ...Daa-Dum, Daa-Dum


You know how a lot of times you’ll have your deepest, most philosophically significant thoughts in the solitude of the shower or bathtub? Allow me to share an example of…not that.


The other night I was tired. Not exhausted. Just that mid-week fatigue that crops up now and again. Decided to take a bath. Because that sounds like pure heaven for a tired person. My tired brain was, I suppose, off doing its own thing, and I nicked my knee while shaving my legs. Little bit of blood, no big deal; you know the drill.


In that moment, the thought that formed in my mind while watching that little bit of blood in the water was Uh, oh. I had better watch out for sharks.


Yes, go ahead and read that thought again as slowly and as condescendingly as you can. It’s fine.


Because I worried about sharks. While sitting in my bathtub.


If I could just take a moment here: I live in Missouri. Probably the most landlocked state in the United States. If TV and books and the internet weren’t around, I would not know an animal called a shark exists. And none of that’s even relevant actually because sharks do not happen in bathtubs. At least not by accident. Brain, what were you doing?


Later, after the bath (because this is not a story of deep shower thoughts), it hit me how my mind is so programmed to worry. I can worry in my sleep. Without breaking a sweat—without even noticing—I can worry about things that are irrelevant, implausible, or imaginary. That is where my mind, in its natural state, wants to live.


That is not a happy place to live. There are sharks there apparently.


Philippians 4 verse 6 reads, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I hear and see this verse quoted a lot. Maybe you do, too, and you’re like me and think Okay, easier said than done, Paul, thanks. But have you noticed this verse does not begin with a capital letter? There is a run-up to this statement in verse 5 that causes it to make so much more sense. It says simply, “The Lord is at hand.”


“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious…” Let me tell you, something, friend. If I am at hand, you need to be anxious. If you are at hand, worry is the completely correct response. But the Lord is at hand. Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became flesh, the One through whom everything that is made has been made, the defeater of death, our champion, risen from the grave—He is at hand. Don’t worry.


Furthermore, and I love this, when the Lord is at hand, instead of worrying, I can pray. When the Lord is at hand, I can check my arrogance at the door. When the Lord is at hand, I can be thankful. What?


I have a brain built here in a fallen world. It will tell me the appropriate response to every cut and scrape is to worry about sharks. And you know what? Sometimes there really are sharks out there. But how wonderful to know my Lord knows this. He knit my brain together. And in his incomprehensible kindness, He’s already told me what to do when I feel worried. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel so loved. 


“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”Romans 12:2a


Lord Jesus, thank You so much for being everything I need. For being bigger than my darkest fears and for loving me enough to allow me to draw close to You when I’m anxious. When I am tempted to give in to worry, renew my mind, Lord, by Your Spirit, and set it on you.


First posted on UPGRADE with Dawn.