To be perfectly honest, I’m both a worrier and a warrior. I hate when the worrier in me raises its ugly head, but ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. It’s only when I acknowledge the tendency, that I can fight it effectively. My hardest battles against worry come in the arena of parenting.
My sons are grown men—capable and wise—and yet I still find myself fearful about some of the things they choose to do. Several years ago two of them decided to spend an afternoon kayaking on a nearby river. They’re experienced outdoorsmen and have logged hundreds of hours doing that very thing. But for some reason that particular trip made me uneasy.
I found myself at a familiar crossroads with a choice to make.
My boys—like all sons—don’t appreciate the love behind my worries. And experience has taught me that nagging does absolutely nothing except make them more determined to do the thing I dread. I could either worry and nag, or I could go into what I’ve come to call warrior mode. This particular practice is how I refer to certain times of prayer. It’s more intense than just devotional praying. That day I chose warrior. I wished them well, warned them to make wise decisions, and retired to my room for some serious prayer intervention on their behalf.
As I talked out my fears and my feelings with God, a peace came over me. Worry dissolved and I went back to my regular routine. I slept like a baby, but the next morning I discovered why I’d felt such a need to pray.
When they’d put into the river, it had been a sunny day. The clouds were fluffy and the water calm. Several miles into this idyllic venture a sudden summer thunderstorm came up almost out of nowhere. Before they could put to shore, the lightning began and their world went black.
Three hours later they awoke, out of their boats—thankful for the life vests they wore—and covered in scrapes and burns. They’d been struck by lightning.
They made it back to their truck and limped home to their wives. They were shaken up, but fine.
Their experience reminded me that even though my children are grown, they still need me. I could have voiced my fears that day, but the outcome would have been the same. Instead I learned the value of a solid set of knee pads and the readiness to do battle for them in prayer. When I take my worries to God, I put them in the hands of the One who could keep them safe.
Dear Lord, change my reaction from worrier to warrior as I cope with the things that happen in my life. Amen.
Edie Melson—author, blogger, and speaker—has a passion to help those who are struggling find the God-given strength they need to triumph through difficult circumstances. Connect with her at www.EdieMelson.com