HOLY WRIT, THE SAGES, AND WORRY
Our civilization is called a Christian civilization. We are the Christian nations. Yet, as I have shown in Chapters I and II, ours is the worrying civilization. That worry is dishonoring to our civilization, and especially to our professions as Christians is self-evident. Let us then look briefly in the book we call our Holy Bible, our Guide of Life, our Director to Salvation, and see what the sacred writers have to say upon this subject. If they commend it, we may assume that it will be safe to worry. If they rebuke or reprobate it we may be equally assured that we have no right to indulge in it.
St. Paul seemed to have a very clear idea of worry when he said:
of care]—for nothing, but in everything
prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests
known unto God. Philippians 4:6.
How inclusive this is—full of care, anxiety, fretfulness, worry about nothing, but in everything presenting your case to God. And then comes the promise:
And the peace of God which
passeth all understanding shall
keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. IV. 7.
How clear, definite, full and satisfactory. What room for worry is there in a heart full of the peace of God, which passeth all understanding? And oh, how much to be desired is such an experience.
Browning, in his Abt Vogler, sings practically the same sweet song where he says:
Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow
Each sufferer says his says, his scheme of the weal and woe:
But God has a few of us whom He whispers in the ear;
The rest may reason and welcome; ’tis we musicians know.
If God whispers in the ear of the sufferer, the doubter, the distressed, the worried, the peace must come; and if peace come, it matters not what others’ reasoning may bring to them, the knowledge that God has whispered is enough; it brings satisfaction, content, serenity, peace. The opposite of worry is rest, faith, trust, peace. How full the Bible is of promises of rest to those who know and love God and his ways of right-doing. Mendlessohn took the incitement of the psalmist (Psalm 37:7), “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him,” and made of it one of the tenderest, sweetest songs of all time. Full of yearning over the worried, the distressed, the music itself seems to brood in sympathetic and soothing power, as a mother croons to her fretful child: “Why fret, why worry,—No, no! rest, rest my little one, in the love of the all-Father,” and many a weary, fretful, worried heart has found rest and peace while listening to this sweet and beautiful song.
There is still another passage in holy writ that the perpetual worrier should read and ponder. It is the prophet Isaiah’s assurance that God says to His children: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”