by Deb Trojak

“Do not be anxious about anything.” That phrase has followed me this year—plagued me in some ways. Sometimes I have no idea what God is trying to teach me. Other times I feel like everywhere I turn there are flashing neon signs pointing to the area of my life He is working on. For 2020 it was “be anxious for nothing.” You may already know this about me but in case you don’t…I am a control freak. And what this past year has taught me is that I am NOT in control. Not even a smidge.

One of the things I love doing most is buying a new planner and filling out all the events for the year to come. (Yes, I am a nerd.) I still prefer paper to digital and Josh laughs because I need three different calendars. (My yearly planner, my monthly desk calendar, and my weekly calendar on the fridge. Have I mentioned I have an issue with control?) When the pandemic hit and we had the initial two-week shutdown, I remember crossing all the things off my calendar and then gazing at future months wondering if anything that I had planned for the year would happen.

Throughout 2020, I kept coming back to these verses: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7) Not knowing what is coming makes me super anxious. But the more I have come back to these verses, the more I have realized that whether my calendar is filled out or not, I don’t actually know what the future holds.

This is both absolutely terrifying (as a control freak) and wonderfully freeing (as a child of God). Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” In my small, human wisdom, I think that I have everything planned, sorted, and in its appropriate place. Then life happens and I realize that my tiny human perspective is far outstripped by my God’s all-knowing one.

Pre-2020, I had fooled myself into thinking that I could hold everything together. Now I live with the knowledge that I can plan, but it is ultimately up to God what happens. I don’t need to be anxious, even though I don’t know what the future holds, because I do know the God who does. He has complete control and He wants what is best for me. (Which ultimately is to give Him control.) 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 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. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34)


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