One question that changes everything when you are worried

Originally published Thursday, 14 April 2016.

what can you add by worrying

Which one of you can add a single hour to your life or 18 inches to your height by worrying really hard? Luke 12:25 (VOICE)

I love popcorn. No, really, I. Love. Popcorn. I would choose popcorn over chocolate anytime. 

We have popcorn at home all the time. We’ve even discovered the best way to make it is in a wok with a lid. Tastier and healthier than the microwaved version. 

Last week my husband suggested we go eat popcorn watch a movie with Tom Hanks, called Bridge of Spies. The subject seemed a little heavy for me, but there was popcorn, so I was in. 

In the movie, Tom Hanks plays an American lawyer, James B. Donovan who is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel, in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Throughout the movie, Abel never seems concerned about anything. Donovan keeps asking him why he doesn’t seem worried and Abel replies with, “Would it help?”

You can watch this 30 second clip from the film to see this dynamic in action.

This phrase, “Would it help?” has stuck with me since we finished the film. 

I think Abel’s approach to worrying is one that Jesus would have liked. 

In Luke we read that Jesus once said, “Which one of you can add a single hour to your life or 18 inches to your height by worrying really hard?” (tweet this)

Believe me I’ve tried this, so if it were possible I’ll be the oldest woman on earth or at least the tallest. 

There have been a couple of stressful situations since we watched the movie when worry has tried to take centre stage and I’ve found myself saying, “Would it help?”

When Xylon and I waited anxiously for the results from his blood test for cancer to come back I had to ask myself, “Would worrying help?” (For those who are interested his blood results showed no sign of cancer. Thank you, God!)

Then there is all the questions and worries around South African President Jacob Zuma's actions in the last week, and the impact on our currency, and the future of our country. 

A prayer for when you are worriedThrough all this, I’ve found this simple question so sharply brings into the focus the fact that worry doesn’t add anything to my life. 
Neither does worry change a situation that is out of my control nor does worrying help someone I am concerned about. 

If you keep reading Luke 12:26-28 you will find that Jesus goes onto say that Jesus goes on to talk about how God takes care of small, transient things and can be depended on to take care of all your big worries. 

Next time, you feel worry building, stop and ask this simple question, “Would worrying help?”

Ponder: How do you stop worrying from ruling your life?

Prayer: Jesus, you know how I love to worry. I don’t want worry to rule my life though so today I’m asking for the confidence to believe that when you said you’d take care of me and this situation that you meant it. Amen. 


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