Have you ever read something and felt as if you were reading a memo from God, written just for you? I will share more about that in a bit, but I must offer a little back-story first.
Before we left home, there was a personal situation that concerned me greatly. Nothing terribly urgent, just troubling to my spirit. And no matter how I tried, no matter how far from home we traveled, like a rock in my shoe, the matter was ever before me, an ache upon my heart. I prayed about it, and should have left it right there, at the altar in God’s faithful hands. Instead, I fretted about it, night and day.
Then, a few days into our travels, we received some unsettling news from home, about another matter altogether, a weighty matter, and one that left us feeling helpless and anxious. Again, I prayed, and should have left it right there. Instead, I have been fretting about it, nonstop.
Both of these situations require answers that are beyond my control. There is absolutely nothing I can do to resolve either one of them. And no amount of fretting will make an ounce of difference.
And that brings me to the message that came on Thursday morning when I picked up my devotional and turned to the day’s reading. I’ve read this devotional through every year since 1999, when my beautiful sister Elaine gave it to me for Christmas. Amazingly enough, I find something fresh every year.
What I read on Thursday was this: “Fret not” (Psalm 37:1).
Well, alrighty then. God had my address, and my undivided attention. The passage that followed, written by Margaret Bottome, went on to expand on this particular verse of Scripture. Here’s what she wrote:
“This to me is a divine command; the same as ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ To fret is to be in a state of vexation, and in this psalm we are not only told not to fret because of evildoers, but to fret not ‘in anywise.’ It is injurious, and God does not want us to hurt ourselves.” (I had a good laugh right there. Love that line of thinking.) “A physician will tell you that a fit of anger is more injurious to the system than a fever, and a fretful disposition is not conducive to a healthy body; and you know rules are apt to work both ways, and the next step down from fretting is crossness, and that amounts to anger. Let us settle this matter, and be obedient to the command, ‘Fret not.’”
As you can see, that was certainly a timely message for me. I’m thankful for it, and can truthfully say I have let go of both situations, entrusting them into the hands of a mighty God.
Fret not. Two little words that require great effort to pull off, but I’m giving it my best shot. Won’t you join me?
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