How many things have you worried about already today?
Are you facing difficulties with family? Friends? Health? Finances? Future?
This photo was taken inside Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, Oxford. It’s the church where C.S. Lewis and his brother, Warnie, worshipped for decades. I’m standing by the pew where Lewis sat every week. It will make sense why I’m sharing this photo as you read on.
Earlier this week I managed to get a long list going of all of the worries I listed above. It started as a mental prayer list in the middle of the night and ended up turning into a big weight I carried around with a fixed scowl on my face.
All I could think about were friends who have serious health challenges right now with cancer, a kidney transplant, a stroke.
Closer to home has been my husband’s recovery after he severed the quad muscle on his left knee in December. He’s still in physical therapy and healing a little bit more each day. He’s able to drive and get around but the whole experience has worn on both of us terribly.
I think what tipped the prayer list to the dark side and turned it into a panic list for me was when I started going through a stack of medical bills. When you’re both self-employed the insurance can be limited or not cover some expenses at all such as the $1,100 bill for the ambulance ride and over $10,000 for recent dental work.
That’s when I stepped away from my desk and sat down with my Bible, journal and a book I’ve been reading called, Yours, Jack. It’s a collection of letters written by C.S. Lewis. (You can see the connection to the photo now.) I opened to page 156 where Jack is writing about his concerns over having to put Mrs. Moore into a nursing home.
30 December 1950
“The expense is of course very severe and I have worries about that. But it would be very dangerous to have no worries—or rather no occasions of worry. I have been feeling that very much lately: that cheerful insecurity is what Our Lord asks of us. Thus one comes, late and surprised, to the simplest and earliest Christian lessons!”
His thoughts mirrored mine. I do trust the Lord. God has always taken good care of us and provided everything we need. He is so faithful. Yet I grow timid in those times when there is occasion to worry. How do I trust the Lord wholeheartedly in such times?
I like that, don’t you? It’s honest. I can admit my uncertainty and insecurity. That’s human. Yet because I am a daughter of the King I can live with a cheerful spirit, walking by faith, trusting the One who has never left us or forsaken us.
When I was looking for the photo from inside Holy Trinity Church I found this one that was taken right after the more pensive shot. I was trying out the pew where Lewis always sat. There were three of us Sisterchicks on a private tour of the church that November afternoon. I think it was Marion who said something about me looking like “Miss Muffit on a tuffet” and did I hope to absorb some of Lewis’ spiritual insights by taking in the view from his pew. Her cheerfulness inside a solemn place made me laugh.
It’s always there, isn’t it? Just on the other side of our timidity is the Holy Spirit’s tenacity. Our fears can instantly be tamed by faith in the One who holds our lives in His hands.
May your panic list turn back into a prayer list today as together we learn the simplest lesson of trusting God in every circumstance.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”