BEEP. The piercing, high-pitched sound penetrated my consciousness. The battery in the smoke alarm must be dying, I thought, as I rolled over and drifted back to sleep. BEEP. There it was again. I didn’t want to get out of bed to check the battery. Instead I lay there, half awake, dreading the next BEEP.
Worry, like that intermittent beeping, is a signal that all is not well. Too often we tolerate it, just as I tolerated the beeping. It’s better to pay attention. Start by asking yourself, “Can I take some action to solve this problem?” Perhaps you need to make an appointment to see the doctor about the lump you found or call the dentist about the tooth that’s hurting. Perhaps you need to make a phone call to ask why your son or daughter hasn’t come home yet.
If you can’t identify an action that will solve the problem, then worry may be a signal that all is not well on a deeper level. It calls you to examine your life, to look below the surface, to seek out the source of your worry. As Francis Chan writes in his book, Crazy Love, “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.”
So take a few moments. Consider what you usually worry about. Ask God for insight regarding the underlying cause. Then ask him to direct you to a solution. Don’t hang back, because Scripture says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).
In case you’re wondering, the beeping eventually woke my husband. He got up and removed the batteries from both smoke alarms before finding the problem: the carbon monoxide detector. Once those batteries were replaced, we were both able to get some sleep.
Don’t let worry interrupt your sleep. Track down its source, take action when possible, and trust God with the rest.