“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear’…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”—Matthew 6:31-34.
As moms we sure get our share of chances to worry, don’t we? More than a few times a day I could benefit by reminding myself of Jesus’ comforting words in Matthew 6:31-34. Instead, I jump straight to worry when our children catch the latest bug floating through the schools, or worse, in those ball pits! Or, that Andrea will fall off the monkey bars and break her elbow again. Or, that Michael will not be paying attention while riding his bike or scooter and drive head-on into a moving vehicle, which includes other bikes and scooters. Or the first sign of a cough or runny nose signaling an indefinite quarantine. The possibilities are endless.
I’ve concluded my germ-and-safety neurosis has transferred to Andrea in the form of a fashion neurosis. She came home one day and just “had to have” a poodle skirt for her first sock hop at school. The dance was in three days. And I don’t sew anything more complicated than a button. And payday wasn’t for a week. And nobody even sold poodle skirts except in October, which was over four months ago.
I tried evading the inevitable with something lame like, “You won’t be the only one without a poodle skirt.” As a prior kid, I knew full well this wouldn’t fly for someone who totally believed she’d take up permanent residence in Loserville if she didn’t have a poodle skirt. Never mind she’d never even seen one and had no idea what it was she wanted. Sure enough, she marched down the next morning with a note stating clearly, “No skirt, no school!”
I turned away from her and smiled as I remembered the time my mom started packing my bag when I declared I hated her and was running away. Looking back, she probably looked forward to the break. I told Andrea I would call her teacher after we finished breakfast and devotions to let her know Andrea would not be coming back to 1st grade. She looked miffed but said nothing. Then God spoke to both of us.
The verse we “happened” to read that morning was Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Andrea began crying and threw her note away. We prayed about it as Michael, a preschooler, sat confused as to why a skirt could mean so much. That was about three months ago, and just this week one of Andrea’s prayers included—verbatim—“but that’s not important, life is more important than clothes…”
It served to remind me that my own worries are of no surprise to my heavenly Father. The broken dryer, the brakes, the Girl Scout cookie order, the unfinished Bible study lesson, my husband’s oral surgery, the broken garage door, the fourth broken window blind, the latest round of chest colds, which all piled up at our house in one week, can overwhelm me if I don’t remind myself regularly that there really is nothing to worry about because God says so.
As it turns out, I found a long skirt for $4 Andrea has worn a dozen times since the dance (better bargain), the dryer just needed a lube and dust job (no costly parts), only the front brakes needed replacing instead of all four, the cookie orders came in on time so I didn’t spend all day tracking down 10 girls, I managed to read most of the Bible study and learned from discussion about the rest of it, my husband needed only four teeth and a cyst removed instead of five teeth, a cyst AND a root canal (thanks Prayer Warriors!), we needed to replace only two garage door panels rather than the whole door, we are only being charged for labor on the window blinds even though all repairs were out of warranty and our coughs have disappeared.
“What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.”—2 Corinthians 1:3-4, TLB