Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have an obsession with words: big words, words that are not commonly used, words that imply a strong emotion or action, and words that roll off the tongue with a delightful feel. One such word is "undismayed". What a strong-sounding word, conveying steadfastness and security (two more great words right there). Here are a couple definitions of the word that I just found with the help of Professor Google.

"Undaunted; unshaken in purpose; hopeful and calm."

[I wonder if I am supposed to post sources for these? I don't know what the rules are... I suppose if you really want to know where I got this then you can google "undismayed" and look at the first few links that come up. I don't feel like tracking the links down at the moment 'cause my cut and paste feature is acting wonky and I am being lazy.]

Anyway, this word came to mind today 'cause I was a'pondering my worry problem. Yes, I am a worrier, always have been. Probably stems in part from my control-freakish, oldest child nature that wants to make sure the world is run correctly. Add to that an imagination that takes a morbid interest in making up stories to herself about all the possible awful outcomes of a situation and you get me: a chronic worrier. I was the child who seldom fell asleep during late night road trips because I felt that I needed to be able to wake my daddy up if he ever fell asleep at the wheel. I also remember making sure I knew where the phone was, just in case I couldn't yell loud enough to wake him, and I ended up needing to call 911. I would also check in my purse for band-aids, make sure all my siblings were wearing their seatbelts correctly, and calculate an exit strategy should the car spontaneously combust. By the way, none of this was a result of my thinking that my dad was a bad driver, or even because he was looking tired. I just knew that car accidents happen and I was going to be prepared. If I ever end up totally insane, you will all know that it didn't come on suddenly.

Soooo, to get back on topic, I was a'pondering this worry problem of mine and wondering why I struggle so much with worry. I know that our God is sovereign, I know that He will work out all things for good. My worry is a sin because it says that I have not truly believed everything God says about Himself and the promises He has made to me. Even though my current worries are slightly more plausible than my car spontaneously combusting, they are still fruitless and pointless. So why do I keep worrying? Why do I find myself confessing the same anxiety for the same things over and over and over? Even if I didn't have His promises to lean on, I have personal experience and memory of His provision and His care. It is not like I am being asked to trust someone Who has never done anything for me! Why do I find it so hard to fully rest in my Savior?

Whenever I think about worry, the words from one of my favorite hymns usually begins to run through my head at some point. One of the words in the first verses is "undaunted", the very opposite of fear. When I have given up my worry and I am at rest in trusting my Lord, then am I able to experience His peace. I just always seem to go about the process of letting go the hard way. I feel like I am stuck in the terrible threes; forever acting like a stubborn three year old. "Noooo!!! I want to take care of it myself!!! I am a big girl!!!! What if You don't do it right??? What if it isn't fun??? What if it hurts??? Just let me!!!"

Anywhoo... This song is so pretty. I don't know what the original arrangement of this song sounds like as I have only heard the Jars of Clay version (love their music!), but here are the words which were originally written by Paul Gerhardt and translated by John Wesley. My blog's title comes from the first line.

Give to the wind thy fears,
Hope and be undismayed.
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God will lift up thy head.

Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command.
Then shalt thou, wondering, own His way;
How wise, how strong His hand.

Far, far above thy thought,
His counsel shall appear
When fully He the work hath wrought
That caused thy needless fear.

Through waves and clouds and storms
He gently clears the way.
Wait thou His time and so shall this night
Soon end in joyous day.

So I am handing this worry over again, knowing that it will probably revisit me again later. Hopefully I will remember to offer it up sooner next time instead of hoisting it around and carrying it with me everywhere. Jesus is a much more capable burden bearer than I am and I have reached the point tonight where I am happy to have Him take it.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, coffee after Awana keeps a person awake and thoughtful until very late. :)

    The blessing I see in all of this is that you recognize and confess your sin. Paul (the Apostle, not your relative) makes it clear that the struggle you have with your sin--hating it and yet still doing it--is an ongoing reality in the believer's life. Thank God for your conviction. Unbelievers usually don't even recognize their own sins. Rest in Christ. He will perfect you in His time, (I am confident of this very thing).

    Also, though the worrying part is not good, the meticulous tendency to consider all possibilities and be prepared for them seems to me a very wonderful and wise gift. Properly applied it can make for a very purposeful life; which brings glory to God.


A word fittly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11