Kari Burgess is a Program Director for the Catalyst team, handling promotion and marketing for all of the conferences held at Resurrection, as well as registration and coordinating hospitality volunteers.
The other night I had a dream. A nightmare really. I woke up in a panic, wondering if this terrible thing had really happened. I was in a cold sweat, my heart was beating rapidly. When I finally woke up , I had to laugh.
It was Thanksgiving. I was bustling around the kitchen getting all of the side dishes prepped and cooked. Cleaning up, setting the table, getting all the last details ready to go. The timer went off on the oven and when I went to take the turkey out of the oven, it was STILL FROZEN. In fact, it was still in its packaging, just sitting there.
Here’s the thing. Until that dream, I didn’t even realize the worry and anxiety I’ve been feeling about hosting Thanksgiving at my house. A silly example, I know. But a lesson in worry, nonetheless.
Webster’s says worry is a “misuse of your imagination.” Think about it. Much of what we worry about (what keeps us up at night or gives us nightmares) never comes to fruition. And it is true we cannot add a single hour to our life by worrying.
Our Scripture today tells us not worry, God will provide. But this doesn’t mean to not be concerned or to stop trying to solve our own problems. We are not meant to simply pray and expect everything to fall in place. There is a difference between worry and concern. My study bible says “Worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.” You see, we must learn to plan and work towards solving whatever is concerning in our life and to do so by seeking God’s kingdom and His will. Planning and working through issues is a good use of time, but worrying is a waste of time. By placing our trust in Jesus and putting Him at the center of every decision, thought and action, we can be sure to follow His will for every life situation. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen—because they certainly will. But having the assurance He is by our side during and through it all gives us hope one day all will be redeemed.
Wilfredo de Jesus, one of the speakers from the Global Leadership Summit in 2014, said, “Prayer is necessary. Prayer is a weapon. But we cannot allow prayer to be a crutch to not do anything.” What a powerful statement. God can work with us and God can work through us, when we seek His counsel. But if we let fear, worry and anxiety take over, we will be left paralyzed and unable to do His work.
When I am feeling particularly worried or anxious about something, I often turn to this text in Matthew 6. Philippians 4:6 is similar (and one of my life 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.”
So after my turkey nightmare, I decided it was time to start planning our Thanksgiving meal in earnest. In trying to figure out what time to put the turkey in the oven, I did an ever-reliable Google search and found it recommended anywhere from 3 ¼ hours to 6 hours! I am now fervently praying for God to make known to me which “turkey cooking calculator” God favors. Any advice is welcome.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.