This week I found out that a major portion of of what we are planning is not going to go the way I expected. As a result I had a very real opportunity to put these lessons on how not to worry into practice.
In this episode:
- A Very Real Problem
- Potential Worry Environment
- Why I Didn’t Worry
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Well isn’t that interesting. I’m talking about the dangers of worry and how it negatively affects us and then I’m put into a situation where I’m seriously tempted to start worrying myself.
You may not know this, but my wife and I are working towards heading over to Scotland as missionaries.
We will be opening a new location for Charis Bible College there, which is the school we graduated from here in Colorado in 2013. Lisa and I went through an additional year after graduation specifically with going to Scotland in mind, so it’s something that’s been in the works for a few years now.
We are getting close to our planned time to move over there. We were shooting for getting established over there by the first of September, which is now only about a month away.
However, this past week we learned that the organization which will be sponsoring our visas is running into some delays. It is taking them longer to gather all the supporting documentation they need to submit to the British government to become an approved sponsoring agency. Once they have that approval they can issue us a sponsoring certificate. Then we will be able to apply for our visas, which we need to have in hand before we can move over there.
So I worked through a revised time estimate with the delay. Now it looks like November is a more realistic time for the transition overseas instead of September.
Potential Worry Environment
On the face of things, those extra two months delay could potentially cause challenges for us. For one thing I’ve already started transitioning out of my main web development job. My employer hired a couple people to replace me who are already working. In the natural that looks like a two month gap in our regular income.
Also we were hoping to be in place in the UK early enough that we could go to one of the already established schools there to see how they get a new school year up and running. It would be really helpful to go through that process as an observer once before we have to do it for real ourselves.
So that news of a delay presents plenty of opportunities for worry to creep into our lives, about those and several other issues. Fortunately we have multiple words from God about this whole Scotland thing.
And that’s an important point to bring up. Moving to Scotland to start the new location for the Bible college is something Lisa and I firmly believe God told us to do. So we know any delays are purely temporary and we will continue to do what we hear God telling us to do each day.
Because one way we can protect ourselves from worry is to always be obedient. If we do what God tells us to do when he tells us to do it, that takes a ton of pressure off. Then we can relax in the knowledge that we’re tracking with his plan.
I mean if God’s the one coming up with the plan, then it stands to reason that he’s also on the hook for how his plan shakes out when we implement it, right?
That takes some pressure off! It’s easier to sleep at night when the problems are someone else's responsibility to sort out. I’m just saying.
The key is to have an intimate relationship with God so we can be sure what we’re hearing is really him and not some misguided thought deceiving us. Obviously it’s possible to miss God, so we need pay attention to that.
Why I Didn’t Worry
So if I was so sure that God told us to go to Scotland, why didn’t I stress it when I found out the timeline we planned on is sliding some?
Honestly there were a couple reasons in my case.
First, though I’m sure I heard God correctly that we’re to go to Scotland, I know it’s quite possible I may have been a little off in the timing of when to move there. For me personally, I tend to hear what a whole lot better from God than when.
If something doesn’t work out the way we expect it’s tempting to assume that we completely missed God in that area.
However maybe we didn’t completely miss it. Maybe we only partially missed it.
When God shares a vision or an idea with me, my natural tendency is to assume he means for that to happen right now. Our brains are naturally wired to fill in the gaps when we don’t have all the information.
That can be a big problem when it comes to following God. We need to pay attention to what God doesn’t tell us as much as to what he does say.
And if we don’t have enough information to move forward then we need to seek God fill that missing info. After all, James tells us that If we need wisdom, we should ask our generous God, and he will give it to us. He will not rebuke us for asking. (James 1:5)
So one of the reasons I wasn’t too worried about the delay in heading overseas is because I knew I might have missed God on the timing when we should go.
Not only that, but it’s not like I’ll be sitting on my couch eating bonbons the whole time either. We still have a ton of stuff to get done before we move. Sometimes life happens and we’ve had a bit of it happening recently, if you know what I mean.
All that to say, I continue to do things that God puts in front of me.
At the end of the day, what it comes down to is this. I’m at the point in my walk where I know G0d’s character well enough to be able to trust him with sorting out some of the things I get wrong, as well as the things that other people get wrong. Because my heart’s in the right place I know God will sort it out. So I chose not to sweat the small stuff like this.
Worry is a huge topic and there’s a whole lot more to share about how to master it. But I’m out of time for now so that will have to wait until next time. Until then, enjoy!