I was fired up and ready for graduation. Freshman year seemed like just yesterday, and I was happy to move on to the next stage of my life.
And then I saw it ... an email from my university stating that I owed $1,000 from studying abroad in London.
After spending a month and a half in London waiting for my refund check, I found out that one of my scholarships was taken away because it didn't cover studying abroad. So, I was stuck in another country with no money for food or transportation.
I survived, though, and I thought that was the end of my problems.
Now graduation was in two weeks, and if I didn't pay the balance on my account, I wouldn't be able to walk across the stage and get my diploma.
Well, I didn't have $1,000.
I called my mom hysterically crying. She supported me financially throughout college, but it was a burden for her and I couldn't ask her for any more money. I didn't know what to do.
My mom was at work and didn't answer her phone, so I called my stepdad to see if he could get in touch with her at her job. I was in panic mode, so my stepdad asked me what was wrong, and I told him the situation.
Before I could even get the words out to ask him to call my mom on her work number, he said, "I'll transfer the money to you right now," Wait, what? He repeated himself and said, "I'll transfer the money to you right now."
My stepdad never gave me money like that before, so I was very surprised to hear those words. In fact, I didn't even know he had $1,000 lying around the house to spare. But problem solved.
I was worried that all my hard work would be wasted because I couldn't pay the balance on my account. But I should've gone to God first because if He opened the door for me to go to London, He wouldn't leave me hanging with a balance on my account.
You see, most of the things we worry about never happen. Worry is just a vice that the enemy uses to distract us from all the amazing things that God has planned for us.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?"
- Matthew 6:24-25
Paying bills, finishing college, and protecting your kids are all real-life things. But all those things are limited to what you can accomplish, not what God can accomplish.
I think back to all the worrying that I did in college about my future, and today, 7 years later, I'm not even doing what I went to school for. God had a different plan for me, but I was so focused on my personal ambitions that I never stopped to ask Him what direction He had for me.
Like I said before, most of the things we worry about never happen.
I was reading Joshua 14 this week, and I love the boldness that Caleb had. Caleb and Joshua were the only Israelites of the earlier generation that were given the privilege to enter the Promised Land.
Caleb was 85-years-old when he requested his allotment of land promised by Moses.
"I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” - Joshua 14:11-12
Wow, can you imagine an 85-year-old man fighting like he was 40? That's exactly what Caleb did because He trusted God to fulfill His promise. There was no room for worry, only faith.
One sure way to win your worry battles is to replace what you're worried about with God's promises. When you do so, like Caleb, you will be able to drive out all the obstacles in your lives.
Remember in grade school when you were taught to stop, drop, and roll in a fire? When you have a fire—obstacle—in your life, stop, drop, and pray. God's promises will always take your worries away :).
What's one nugget you took away from today's message? As always I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to the discussions page with your comments, questions, and/or stories. I look forward to chatting with you.
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You were born to do great things! Don't let worry hold you back from all that God has planned for you.