“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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34
I recently had an interesting opportunity to walk out these few verses from Jesus’s famous Sermon on the Mount. One of the hats I wear in life is that of a Mary Kay beauty consultant (well, we don’t actually wear hats; more like a beauty coat, but that’s besides the point), and as a small business owner, I use a credit/debit card processing app. Whenever I charge a card, the funds go into an account which I then use them to restock my inventory and/or pay myself. One Saturday morning, I attempted to log on to pay for my inventory as usual; only this time, I hit a bit of a snag. The app, which had always worked seamlessly, suddenly didn’t recognize my fingerprint to log in. Not worrying too much, I tried entering my pin instead. That also was rejected. I was a little confused and frustrated that that hadn’t worked, so I decided to try again later. Upon returning to my phone a couple of hours later, I again was rejected at every turn by the app. Still not panicking, I went to my computer, assuming that the app was for some reason acting glitchy. I tried to log in on the desktop, answering the security questions and waiting patiently to be logged in. Several such attempts failed. Now I started to become concerned.
As I mentioned, this was a Saturday. To rectify the problem, I called the app’s customer service number on the off chance that someone would be working on the weekend, and I tried the online chat option as well, but as suspected, they were closed and could not be reached until Monday morning. I tried to log in again a few times, both on the phone app and the desktop, to no avail. Now I was beginning to worry in a significant way. My thoughts went to the whole spectrum of possibilities: I had been hacked. My identity had been stolen. Someone had taken over the account, replaced my fingerprint with their own, changed the phone pin, changed the password online, changed the security answers, and I would be forever locked out and out of any funds stored on the site. I mean, nothing worked, so what else could be the reason?
Thankfully, in my rising anxiety, I remembered my recent post on Invasive Thoughts, https://www.frontporchencouragement.com/post/invasive-thoughts and recalled the portion of the Sermon on the Mount above, and began taking these worrisome thoughts captive. I played the “So, what IF” game. It’s like the “What If” game, where you worry about the negative possibilities to the Nth degree. Only in this version, instead of asking “What if I’ve been hacked? What if all that money has been stolen?” I asked myself, “So, what IF I’ve been hacked? So, what IF all that money is gone? Will that matter to me in five years? Will it matter to me (truly) in five months?” Upon reflection, I decided that the answer was that it would be a definite bummer, and it would be really, really frustrating and unfair, but God has always been faithful to provide for me, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Then I asked myself if there was anything I could do about the situation that particular day. Being a Saturday, the answer was ‘no.’ So since I couldn’t do anything about it right then, and since it would stink but not be the end of the world if the money was gone, and since I knew that worrying about the problem wouldn’t add one single hour to my life, I decided to move on with my life and enjoy my weekend.
Monday morning came, and I went to the online helpline to chat with a customer service representative about what had happened to come to a resolution. Ironically, immediately after answering the two security questions, I was dropped from the chat feature completely. For a moment, my heart dropped into my stomach, and I briefly feared some hacker had duped me from inside the company (see how quickly our fears and emotions can deceive us?). I tried the feature again, inquired as to what happened, and the kind representative explained that the previous chat more than likely dropped due to poor internet service. She then assisted me with my original problem, which, as it turned out, was partly due to the necessity to update my online password and partly due to the age-old I.T. solution: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Apparently I needed to uninstall the app and then re-install it onto my phone.
She stayed online with me until I had completed all of the necessary steps to restore everything. My money was still in the account, I was able to restock my inventory, and all was well. I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit reminded me not to worry and to trust God for a resolution.
What situations arise in your life in which you could use the “So, what IF?” game to remind yourself to trust God? Next time you are tempted to worry, remember the lilies of the field.