I used to be the kind of person who would worry myself to death by thinking through every possible horrible scenario ahead of time. I used the excuse that this way, I'd be prepared for whatever happened. Then nothing would happen and I'd think about all that time I wasted. I remember one time specifically trying to do 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says,
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I was trying to take captive these worrisome thoughts but I just kept thinking that it was better to "be prepared". Then the Lord spoke to my heart words that were as loud as any time I have ever had the Lord speak to me...My grace is sufficient for your unpreparedness. BAM! It smacked me right in the face. Just two short chapters later in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 is another verse.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
I'd heard that verse a thousand times and would try to meditate on it in times of trouble but for the first time the Lord spoke it into my heart in a very personal way. My grace is sufficient for your unpreparedness...my grace is sufficient for your failures as a parent...my grace is sufficient for your unemployment...my grace is sufficient for your sickness...and on and on.
I think one of my favorite passages in William P. Young's The Shack articulates this struggle with fear and the reason for it really well. In this particular passage, the main character, Mack, is having a conversation with Jesus about how people spend too much time in their minds in the future, mostly fear of the future. Jesus says, "You try and play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear." Boy could I relate to that. And the reason? "Because you don't believe...To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it; you talk about it, but you don't know it."
You know, I'm not afraid of my husband physically hurting me. I'm not afraid that he'll run off with another woman tomorrow. I'm not afraid he'll gamble away our paycheck each month. Why? Because I know him. Now he's not perfect and we're certainly not immune to these things but I think you get my point. I'm not afraid because I know him better than I know anybody. It's easy to trust him in these things each day because of my personal relationship with him, the time I've spent with him. And so I got to thinking...maybe this is my problem. Maybe I have fear because I don't know God. Not the way I want to know Him. Not as well as I know Jeff. I know God loves me but maybe I don't really know how much He loves me. Knowledge may not equal depth...but in some sense I think it does equal trust. And I want to trust God completely, without fear. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still going to set the alarm, check the kids before going to bed, and pray. But I'm going to try to remember that God is present in the reality of today, not my imaginations of tomorrow. And that His grace is sufficient, period.