Devotional - Family Topics

Why Worry?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Scripture: I'll search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those people who sit there unworried while thinking, "The LORD won't do anything, good or bad." Zephaniah 1:12 (CEV)

Observation: search … with candles—or lamps; so as to leave no dark corner in it wherein sin can escape the punishment, of which the Chaldeans are My instruments (compare Zep 1:13; Lu 15:8).
settled on their lees (“sit there unworried”) —“hardened” or crusted; image from the crust formed at the bottom of wines long left undisturbed (Je 48:11). The effect of wealthy undisturbed ease (“lees”) on the ungodly is hardening: they become stupidly secure (compare Ps 55:19; Am 6:1).
Lord will not do good … evil—They deny that God regards human affairs, or renders good to the good; or evil to the evil, but that all things go haphazard (Ps 10:4; Mal 2:17).

Application: We have a tendency of going to extremes in our experience.  On the one hand, sometimes we worry about everything to the point that it paralyzes us, at least temporarily.  I’m not speaking of a pathological fear, but worrying about the job, and the traffic, the kids, finances, the weather. . . everything.  We may be tempted to quote Jesus to them, “Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.” Matthew 6:34 (CEV)   As we look at His words, Jesus was not saying not to worry at all, but rather not to worry about tomorrow, especially when we have enough things to be worried about for today.  In other words, take it one day at a time.
On the other hand, there are some who don’t worry about anything at all.  They don’t really plan for tomorrow, much less for their future.  Often they simply resolve to do nothing and hope things will turn out well on their own.  The writer of Proverbs writes about them with the words, “How long will you lie there doing nothing at all? When are you going to get up and stop sleeping?  Proverbs 6:9 (CEV)
My concern is with those who neglect their marriage and their family until it is very late to save it – sometimes too late.  Some don’t even seem to realize that their marriage is falling apart a little at a time.  They are spending time at work, with friends, watching or practicing sports, and doing many other things to keep them happy and entertained, but alone.  While they do those things for themselves their spouses or their families live as if they were not part of their lives, as if they didn’t exist.  And then one day, they find themselves completely alienated from each other.
The worst punishment for those who take their relationship and their family for granted is the demise of their marriage and the loss of their children.  They wonder then what could have happened, and often blame others for what happened.  It was their spouse, or the school, or the church, or something else or someone else.  They ask, why did God do that to them?  Why didn’t God keep their family together?  Why have their children rejected the church, and God Himself?  They seem to live in a world of denial, refusing to accept the fact that they may be responsible for what happened to their marriage and to their family.
Before it is too late, look at your life, the time you spend with your family, with your wife and kids, and how much of that time is quality time.  Once you make the commitment to make changes in your life, be intentional about how you spend that time to ensure the success of your relationship.  Successful marriages are not an accident; they take people committed to a life-long, healthy, happy relationship for the rest of their lives.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, while we don’t want to worry unnecessarily about tomorrow, help us to do all in our power to see that our marriage and our family are healthy.  Help us to plan for the future and to work toward making that future possible with Your blessings.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.