Several weeks ago I pulled a chair up to a table of young women who were lingering after our weekly Bible study class. I casually turned to my left and put my arm around this fragile, petite young lady. I didn’t know her. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know her name. Nevertheless, I asked her how she was doing. I knew that she was visiting a friend and was only going to be in town for a little while. “Are you having fun on your holiday?” I asked. “I’m worried”, she said, in broken English. “What’s the trouble?” “I’m worried. So many things.” She shook her head back and forth and looked down to her fiddling fingers. Oh, my heart. I could see the ache in her beautiful, almond-shaped eyes. “Oh, Sweetheart. Let not your heart be troubled.” I said with such confidence. Ha! So easy to say for those of us who have seen His faithfulness in spite of the most tumultuous of circumstances. So easy to say for those of us who are living in circumstances of ease. But the truth is, even those of us who have “tasted” the faithfulness of God, we still feel the sting of doubts more often than we should. Don’t we?
A few days later I made my way to the computer and wrote an email which in reality was written not only for her but for me as well. I needed to be reminded that when God says in His Word over and over and over again to not worry, He’s not kidding. I grabbed my Bible and within a matter of less than one full minute was able to lay my eyes on this list of Scriptural addresses that speak to the issue of worry. Here they are Philippians 4:6-7; Isaiah 41:10; Mathew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Grab your Bible and finish the chapter. It’s a beauty. 1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 5:34: Psalm 94:19; John 14:1; John 14:27; Proverbs 12:25; Psalm 38:9; Ecclesiastes 1:18; 2 Corinthians 9:9; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:22b-23; Ecclesiastes 11:10; Matthew 13:22; Revelation 21:3-4. Oh, believe me, there are many, many more but for now, this should give us all a good head start.
The following morning I made my way out to the balcony of our home. It’s a place I visit at the break of every new day. I was greeted with a view that doesn’t present itself very often. No view. The coastal fog and atmosphere, in general, overwhelmed the canyon and typically endless sky. It was so thick and gray there was no space between the French doors and the edge of the balcony. On top of that…. it was eerily silent. Fog does that, you know. It deadens sound. It deadens sight and sound. As I stood out there in the midst of the mist I thought about the precious young lady who struggles with worry. For the believer, worry and doubt are like fog. It isolates us from reality.
There was a man, a disciple of Jesus’, actually who had a fog-like experience. A big one. And I like that this was the set of circumstances that took place, for worry and doubt could not have met a greater match. We find the account in John 20:24-29. “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.” (Eight days, ladies and gentlemen. Even though Jesus told him what was going to come down – “I will never believe.” It was his choice not to believe and Thomas walked in the fog.) Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Somehow I think that if our doubting brother Thomas had chosen to believe what he had not seen, he would have experienced eight very different days in his life. All the worry, all the doubt – for nothing. Here’s the deal. If the Lord Jesus Christ says something, you can believe it. Even though you haven’t seen it or touched it.“ Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Well, back to my balcony. In very little time, the sun began to rise and while I still could not see it, I saw the results of the coming forth. What was blinded to me just moments ago, suddenly began to reveal itself. Ah, there were the sturdy canyon plants which cascade down to the valley below. I knew they were there all along. It was only a matter of time until they would come into view. I stood and watched with wonder at the power and faithfulness of the sun. I thought of my young Christian friend whose worries overwhelmed her fearful heart and how everything would be different, better, yes, blessed if only, she would believe.