After a two year absence from dentists and a move to another city, it was time to have my ‘not-so-pearly-whites’ checked. As I lay back with mouth gaping and rubber clad gloves probing my mouth, the dentist called out his findings to his assistant. She filled out the chart as he made the round trip between the teeth on both top and bottom.
My chart revealed that I’d have some work to do and some money to spend over the next period of time. However, things seemed to grind to a halt as he reached my last molar on the lower right side. As his probe moved on I heard him say, “Put an X on number 17.”
As he concluded and I again had the use of my mouth, I tried to act nonchalant as I asked, “What does ‘put an X’ mean?” I already knew the answer. He was gong to pull one of my wisdom teeth. And he wouldn’t do it that day … oh no. It would come in a couple of months after all my other work was finished.
Now I had something to dread, anticipate and worry about for two months.
I had something truly ‘worthy of worry!’
But Mark Twain once said: “My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened.” And a recent study at the University of Cincinnati found that 85% of what we worry about never actually happens! For people who worry a lot, that statistic is embarrassing.
And I can vouch for that study. My two month worry journey turned into much ado about nothing. As the tooth came out with little to no pain, I realized I had been snookered. I had expended worry and energy over nothing.
It appears that God wants us to use our lives and energy a bit more efficiently. We’re told in Scripture to refuse worry.
– “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34 NIV
– “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” Matthew 6:25 NIV
– “Do not be anxious about anything,…” Philippians 4:6 NIV
Worry always comes at a cost. It destroys confidence. It weakens the immune system. It sends stress hormones on a destructive journey through the body. Trust is the correct operating system for a child of God. Worry kicks trust out into the street. In its place flood anxiety and fear.
This week I will be like the person described in Psalm 112:7:
“He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen.
For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.” The Living Bible