Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keeping Watch

When you stop trying to control your life, and instead allow your problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. (A Praying Life, Paul Miller)

I saw this quote on Facebook about a week or so ago, and it caught my attention. Specifically, it was the phrase “from worry to watching” that caught my eye. I could be a poster child for worry. It comes a little too easily and happens much too often. It isn’t something I’m proud of by any stretch of the imagination. I know the verses like Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing…” and Matthew 6:27, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Somewhere between my head and my heart there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to this subject. Worrying is the opposite of walking in faith, which is my daily goal.

Scripture is filled with verbs like look, see, observe, and consider.

In Genesis 15:5, God is speaking to Abraham. “And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

Psalm 66:5 says, Come and see the works of God, who is awesome in his deeds toward the sons of men.”

Habakkuk 1:5 says,Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days -- You would not believe if you were told.”

As we approach Christmas, I have been thinking about the birth of Jesus and the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night. I wonder if any of those shepherds were prone to worry? When it comes to worrying, nighttime is the worst. It is dark and quiet and I am alone with my thoughts. I ponder and pray and yes, worry over my little flock of two. I can’t even imagine what that would have been like to be awake in the still of the night, lost in thought, and be suddenly surrounded by the glory of the Lord along with an accompanying host of angels. Talk about a life-changing event!

And what was their immediate response?

“And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15)

They sought out their Savior. Perhaps if I stop looking within and worrying about my problems, and instead seek the Lord in all things, then I too can catch a glimpse of His glory. I know it is there. I just need to look for it.


  1. Great truth, Julie. Many of us can relate.
    From Pam, a former worrier
    2 Encourage

  2. Thanks, Pam! This is something I'm really trying to work on.

  3. What a beautiful post. Sometimes I think it's just a matter of remembering to do that. It's to easy to fall back into the habit of worry. But how glorious to replace it with the habit of watching.

    If you haven't read Paul's book, I highly recommend it. I probably underlined half the text or more.

  4. Dianne, thanks for your encouraging words! I need to put his book on my wishlist. :)