I think there is a leak in our kitchen ceiling. I keep staring at it, waiting for it to collapse. One of my biggest phobias is a collapsing ceiling which may be weird to most, but I fear this because I've lived through it. When my oldest son was a year old, we had just moved back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from Arkansas.
My husband was deployed to Afghanistan, so we moved into base housing a little early to get it prepped for his arrival. Shortly after moving in, I noticed that the ceiling in our dining area was sagging just a bit. I kept an eye on it for a few days, and it seemed to sag more and more each day. A crack appeared in the seam where the sheetrock was connected. That crack kept getting bigger and bigger, and soon, the entire thing fell through and water poured into our house!
It was crazy and a giant stress for me as I wanted our new home to be super cute when my husband returned. Our house was a big mess for a couple of weeks, because it took a while to get fixed.
After living that nightmare, I find myself constantly looking for cracks in the ceiling of our newly-purchased home. I look for trouble before it begins. Maybe I can be ultra prepared for the chaos if I anticipate it, I reason.
Well this week, I noticed a crack in a seam in our ceiling and I panicked. I grabbed a chair and began to investigate by pushing on some areas that seemed to sag. I poked thumbtacks in the plaster and even made a small hole in the plaster to see if I could find some water damage. My mind has been mostly on the ceiling for the past couple of days. I imagine a huge disaster in our kitchen. I envision workers tearing the entire place apart to fix a messy and expensive leak. I hear dripping pipes and I can't decide if it is real or my imagination.
Such as I focus on our possible ceiling chaos, it is common for Christians to focus on our troubles--sometimes, nonexistent troubles.
We are so set on handling things our way that we forget Who is in control. We are so terrified of things falling apart that we make a mess of things before they even begin. We stress out over events that have yet to occur.
Have you ever spent a ton of time and energy worrying over something that it fully consumes you? Have you ever worried so much only to find out that the worry was absolutely unnecessary? It happens all the time!
God does not want us swimming in stress and worry. He wants us to be wise and lean on Him for discernment. He wants us to be good decision-makers, and He wants us to approach big events with a heart of prayer and faith. But, He does not want us to worry, and He wants us to stop looking for the "cracks in our ceilings."
I love the passage in Matthew 6, where the Lord reminds us of his care for even the birds, and how He loves us so much more than He loves them:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
~Matthew 6:25-34 ESV
He will fulfill our needs; He will sustain us.
It is still impossible not to worry a little sometimes. The trouble comes when we allow that worry to control our days. Days full of worry can be detrimental to ourselves, our family, our friends, and those to whom we witness. Try letting go of anything that is causing you to take your eyes off of the hope found in God.
I am going to try to stop stressing out over my kitchen ceiling. Just typing this and reading it in text makes me realize how silly and how small an issue it is in comparison to the big picture. Maybe your issue is not as small as a leaky ceiling. Maybe it is super huge, and maybe your worry is not in vain. Friend, know that God's desire is that you will run straight to Him. Seek His face today. Dig really deep into His word. Trust in Him!
Hopefully, my ceiling is fine. But, maybe it isn't. Even if it caves in, though, I am still surrounded by the rest of our house; I am still blessed with a terrific family to share my time with; I am still loved and favored by the ultimate Sustainer. I can stop looking for the cracks in everything and live a life of true Freedom in Jesus. In Him, we can rest. Ahhhhh.