My Puppy Dog Is Not Worried
In the midst of this pandemic, so many of us would have reason to be worried about all of the “what ifs.” What if I get sick? What if the store runs out of food? What if I lose my job? What if I run out of toilet paper? I too can be caught up in the “what ifs” of life.
I’ve recently gone through a seven year period of worrying about the “what ifs” in my life of overseeing several management responsibilities at one time. I can honestly testify that the scripture found in Proverbs 12:25 is so very true: “Anxiety weighs down the heart.” At one early point in this seven year period, I found myself reflecting on the Bible in a psalm of David, “I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief” (Psalm 38:6 NLT). I was so worried one day, I actually caught myself walking bent over, not wanting to lift my head. I don’t want to ever go there again. For the first time in my life I better understood the pain of why one would consider checking out. I didn’t consider it, but I understood it.
I mentioned Proverbs 12:25 above, but I didn’t finish it. The verse has been listed on my website from the very beginning of my ministry, and it’s where the name of my ministry comes from. The verse says, “Anxiety in a person's heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25 CSB). The King James Version of the same verse says, “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” A good word. I’m here to share another good word with you.
My wife, Julie, and I were watching the news report just last night (please don’t do too much of this) and when she got up she looked at our beloved dog, Bella, and said, “You’re not worried about this coronavirus are you?” Bella simply lifted her head and wagged her tail. Why is Bella not worried?
I’m here to testify that in all of the past years of my life, not one of my worries has ever helped the situation. (And not ONE of my worries actually brought the calamity which my brain was envisioning.) Being concerned about an event is OK as long as you put into practice recommended ways to stay safe, or avoid accident/injury/illness/failure. Even though I’m full of faith, I still wash my hands often and practice social distancing. Similarly, I’m concerned with the dangers of riding a motorcycle, but I don’t allow it to turn into a fear and never ride. It's not that I’m so full of faith that I have no fear; I practice safety by wearing a helmet. Jesus says in Luke 4:12, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God” (NLT).
Over the past few years, I’ve questioned my faith several times. I’ve never doubted my salvation, or that the Lord didn’t watch after me because He loves me, but that I chose to worry dreadfully about some things and not worry about other things. I’ve told my children hundreds of times: “Life is full of choices.” Unfortunately, my choice of over worrying about a situation has always been the wrong choice. Jesus commands us, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25 NIV). You may be thinking, “Robby, I’m not worried about what I’m going to eat, drink, or wear; I’m worried that I will catch this dreadful disease, or that I may not have any income for a while.” I have the same concerns, but I try to practice what the Apostle Paul teaches, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT).
You may say, “Robby, I’ve heard all of that before, but you just don’t understand my situation. I have good reason to be worried.” I say let me caution you a little about worry. When we worry, we are actually saying, “Lord I don’t trust you enough in this situation.” He “may” say, “OK, if you want to take this one on in your own power, go ahead.” You’re thinking: “Robby, where did you get this from?” True story: A few years ago I came off of a very good year of sales in my business. In the very beginning of the New Year, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I have three very large key accounts; what if any of those were to go away? I would be doomed.” Having read the Bible so often, a story immediately popped into my head. It is the story of Job. In the story Job is being hammered with things of bad circumstances. In Job chapter 3 verse 25, Job says, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me” (NIV). So now I’m thinking like Linus here in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when he slips up and says “if the Great Pumpkin comes” instead of “when he comes.” I just brought calamity upon myself by worrying.
Would you believe in that very year, I not only lost one of those accounts, but I lost all three! When it happened, I remembered my earlier in the year thoughts concerning Job. I then repented, and prayed to the Lord to forgive my mistrust and worry. I told Him during that prayer that I knew that He would continue to provide for me, even when things looked so gloomy at that moment. The very next day after that prayer of repentance, I received a phone call from an account that I had called on several years ago. I was amazed when they simply said that they were fed up with their current supplier, and that they were ready to immediately turn ALL of their business over to me. I didn’t even have to make a follow-up sales call. That new account, still buying, more than covered the business that I lost. I praise God each time that they place an order now. Things don’t just happen.
Please understand that I still catch myself worrying from time to time even though I know it doesn’t help things at all. (And I have lost many business accounts that have not been immediately replaced.) But each time now, I do remind myself that the Lord is in control, and that He has never let me down in my almost 62 years of life here. We must remind ourselves of our past victories, and believe that a victory is in the works even now no matter the gloominess. The Bible says, "...it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him" (Hebrews 11:6 NLT).
Now back to my puppy dog, Bella. Why isn’t she worried? She has full trust that her provider is going to completely take care of all her needs. I will! Why, because I love her deeply. I know of One that loves me, and you, deeply!