Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal! This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me (and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed(inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5). For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Journaling in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, BSN, RN

The Crippling Sting of Worrying

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

Bible Reference: Read MATTHEW 6:25-34 ( Do Not Worry )

Do you know what it is like to be stung by a bee? It’s amazing how this little “stinger” can be so crippling or worse deadly, if we are not being careful. Recently, I find myself listening to the whisper of worrying, and eventually got stung by it.

My husband and I had the opportunity to enjoy a nice afternoon walk at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. As we walked around, watching all kinds of animals and wild flowers, the Lord has reminded me of how He takes care of them—He feeds them (v.26) and clothes them (v.28). If the Lord cares for them, how much more us (v.26). God’s truth comforted my weary soul.

Like a crippling bee sting, so is worrying. When left unresolved, can lead to a feeling of an impending doom, fear or anxiety.

What made worrying a popular negative human emotion? Why do we even worry? Perhaps, you may say, “I don’t”. Perhaps, some people don’t worry as much as I do.

I am not ashamed to admit that I used to be a worry-boat. I was never proud of it. If not because of Christ’s transforming antidote in my life when He saved me in 1998, I would have been completely crippled by worrying. But thanks be to God the Father, I found my eternal antidote for worrying through His Son.

Before I go further, let me share with you some few definitions of ‘worrying or worry’ as defined by various dictionaries I have read: To feel uneasy or concerned about something; be troubled; Is a feeling or show of being uncomfortable; A feeling of uncertainty and an uneasy state of mind usually over the possibility of anticipated misfortune or trouble; to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts.

With these definitions in mind, can we honestly say that the main reason why we worry because we want to be in control and resolve our problems our way instead of God’s way? Perhaps, we worry because we are concerned, but God’s Word in the Bible doesn’t teach us that. In fact, God told us NOT TO WORRY at all – Matthew 6:27 asks this question, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? The obvious answer is, ‘No one can.’ It seems as though trusting and casting all our cares and burdens in the hands of our Almighty God is never enough, that we feel like we have to pitch in and help Him. The bad news is, God doesn’t need our help. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9a, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” It is clear, the Lord wants us to depend on Him. To trust Him and make Him as our all in all.

In the Lord Jesus’ time here on earth, He illustrated His teachings with His disciples on the subject of worry through parables. He used parables to teach and preach – to picture out truth and moral lessons. In handling worry, the Lord used His creations such as birds to illustrate a point: They don’t plant or harvest or store food in the barns, but the heavenly Father feeds them. Another object used by the Lord Jesus was the lilies of the field, of which, Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they were.

When I was a child, my siblings and I used to spend summer at my grandmother’s little house up on a hill. Overlooking down were streams of rivers and springs filled with lilies and other floating wild flowers, and I can attest how lovely and beautiful the lilies were with their vibrant colors!  We gladly enjoyed watching and playing with these flowers and was amazed at their beauty. If God cares so wonderfully for these wild flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. What a refreshing reminder and assurance! His final reminder about worry is for us not to borrow the troubles of tomorrow because today’s troubles are enough for the day (in context - Matthew 6:34). Often times, we foolishly borrow problems and think of misfortunes of tomorrow and start worrying about them. In one of Chuck Swindoll’s books, he shared, that according to research, 98% of our worries of troubles and misfortunes never even happen ahead of time.  Think for a moment and recall your worries in the past.  What happened to all your worries?  How foolish we have been for thinking and borrowing tomorrow’s trouble when we shouldn’t.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
A story was once told about a painting contest with the theme ‘peace’. Majority of the participants illustrated their usual interpretation of ‘peace’ by painting God’s natural creation of towering mountains, green forests, beautiful flowers, shining sun, and birds flying with a background of a wonderfully blue sky. Do you know what? The unique painting which won the contest was that of a bird who had built her nest beside a raging waterfall. Imagine how this little bird managed her life on a daily basis, peaceful amidst the noise and troubles surrounding its abode?

Finally, in Philippians 4:6-7, we are reminded again by the Apostle Paul, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Bring to God all your needs, and thank Him for all He has done, then you will have His abounding peace which transcends what we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live for and in Christ Jesus. God commanded us to pray instead of being a prey to the crippling sting of worrying. Remember, the antidote to worrying is prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior - "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Are you a candidate for worry?  If you are poisoned by its sting, is Christ your antidote?  How about eternity?  Are you not certain as to where you will be spending for eternity–Heaven or Hell?  Friend, you need to not to worry, come to Christ in repentance and receive Him as your Lord and Personal Savior.  He is the ONLY way ( John 14:6 )!
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:6)  ***Note: The Greek is being referred to as the gentiles or non-Jewish.
May Christ be your All in All, as He has been for me – now and the life to come.  For the greater glory of God the Father in Heaven. Amen.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
"let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
BLESSED ASSURANCE
By: Frances J. Crosby, 1873

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.


Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.


Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.


Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.