My son turned 16 last spring. He couldn’t wait to take the written exam at the Department of Motor Vehicles so he could get his learner permit. My husband took him out to practice driving for the first few months, but I’ve screwed up my courage enough to ride with him now. It’s still anxiety provoking. Why? Because when my son is driving, I am not in control. Sure, I can tell him where to go and when to slow down or stop, but I’m dependent upon his following my instructions. (We’ve taken a few unexpected detours.) I long for one of those passenger-side brakes that the driver education cars have. Instead, like the mother in the Zits comic strip, I find myself stomping on the floor mat when a collision seems imminent.
Life is a lot like teaching our children to drive. Although we prefer to be in the driver’s seat, often we’re not. Illness, job loss, storms—these and other situations remind us that ultimately we are not in control. The uncertainty causes us to worry. Fortunately, there is someone who is in control—the God who created the universe. Whenever we begin to worry because of circumstances beyond our control, we can turn to God in prayer.
That’s the message of Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message): “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
Let worry become a reminder to pray. Pour out your heart to God. If you’re not sure he exists, express your doubts. Tell him what you’re facing and how you’re feeling. Ask for his help. Then let his presence “settle you down” as you wait patiently and attentively to see what he will do.