We all know the feeling. How it creeps up from some deep well within us and slowly wraps it’s slimy tendrils around our hearts, sending us down a spiral of “what if’s” or “how will I”, etc. Worry is such a sick enemy, and it is one that has long-lasting implications if we allow it to rule over us. Now, I’m speaking as one who has up close and personal experience in being a so-called “worry-wart”,and in thinking about that specific designation, I began to wonder,
“How do we even get warts?” (By touching frogs, of course. Duh)
Maybe some of you already know this, but I did not before this morning. Warts are caused by coming into contact with a virus that gets into a scratch on the skin. The virus that causes them can be encountered anywhere, from a doorknob to a bag in the grocery store! It causes an infection that manifests itself in an outer skin reaction that is hard to the touch, but can also be painful. I can’t help but think about worry.
What’s interesting is that as I type this, I actually have a wart. No, I did not touch a frog, but I have a wart. not just a regular, “ordinary” wart, but a periungal wart, which is a wart that has spread beneath the nail bed of my “flip you off” finger’s cuticle. it hurts. It is distracting. It has depressed the underlying nail, thus creating a nail that is misshapen. I will have to have surgery for it, and it will likely leave a hole in my cuticle area until it heals. No bueno.
But as I think about this whole ordeal, it runs concurrently with the outcomes and effects of worry in my life.
See, worry gets into us through the tiniest of cuts in our armor. We have a thought that God won’t provide, or that God isn’t good. And we can come into contact with worry anywhere. We might be watching new coverage on this pandemic. We might be paying attention to our stocks and 401(k) losses. We might be looking at our dwindling bank accounts. The fact is the things that we worry about indicate where we trust God least. Those are areas where we have believed the lie that God can’t do everything or care for everyone. Another comparison I read said that when we worry, we willingly inflict abuse upon ourselves.
We willingly allow ourselves to dwell on difficult circumstances, overwhelming fears, and others stresses that weight us down. Worry causes our bodies extreme distress, and like warts, can manifest in ways that are harmful both inside and outside of us. If we imagine worry as a fire, the more we worry, the bigger the fire and the hotter it burns. Yet by not worrying, we free ourselves to do things that will actually make a difference in the world…like moving in faith with God. And by choosing to focus more on God’s faithfulness than our faithlessness, we are able to effectively cut off the warts of worry and live the kind of physically and spiritually healthy lives that God intended for us. And just like when I accidentally hit my finger on something, when we worry, it pains our spirits in ways that God never intended for us to endure. When left untreated, warts can become serious issues, often resulting in medical intervention.
Worry left untreated can result in chronic pain points added to our lives, years shaved off of our health, and serious damage done to our faith walk with our loving Creator. I guess, had I really taken my own wart seriously at first I could have avoided all of this, but I did not and here I am.
My “medical” advice for dealing with worry? Attack it head on. Treat it as soon as you see it beginning to manifest.
I challenge you, (and me) to find verses that speak to those warts of worry in our lives like these:
1 John 4:18
2 Timothy 1:7
1 Peter 5:7-8
Use the word! Be blessed!