Mama was a worrier. Yeah, she worried about everything. If she didn’t have something to worry about she would search for something to worry about. God rest her soul, mama doesn’t have to worry any more. Somehow, mama missed the concept that God is sovereign over all things. Sadly, mama lived her life in fear of what “could happen”.
5. “I am the LORD, and there is no other, Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
6. That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me, I am the LORD and there is no other.
7. The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.” (NASB ’97)
Mama just didn’t know. It wasn’t her fault. She was not educated woman. She was a simple, farmer’s wife.
Now I’m not talking bad about my mama. Don’t you be talking bad about my mama. I may be pushing sixty years old with a plate and four screws in my neck, an artificial knee, and an overhauled heart, but I’ll still defend my mama’s honor. I know God and God knows me. God tells that Holy Spirit within me, “Keep that boy on a short chain. He ain’t perfected yet.” Just so you know.
But bless mama’s heart she did worry about anything and everything. When I was five, daddy took me to the cotton fields and taught me how to hoe grass and weeds out of the cotton rows. Mama worried that I’d chop my toes off because I didn’t wear shoes in the summer time. When I was eight years old, daddy put me in a saddle and taught me to how to ride a horse and work cattle. Mama worried that I’d be thrown and trampled. When I was ten years old, dad taught me how to drive a tractor and rake hay in the hay fields. Mama worried that I would fall off the tractor and be mangled in the machinery.
What did mama accomplish with all her worry? Well, it took a toll on her health. She suffered from diabetes mellites type II, neuropathy, congestive heart failure, and acute anxiety. She was prone to mood swings and depression. She worried because she was sick and worried that she’d get sicker. Growing up watching mama worry made me a worrier as well. She ingrained her worry and anxiety into me to such an extent that I landed in a hospital bed with bleeding ulcers when I was twelve years old. No twelve-year old-boy has any business with bleeding ulcers. It was the only time that I ever saw fear in my daddy’s eyes. Dad battled ulcers too. I guess he had his share of worries. He just hid them better than mom did.
Soon after I got out of the hospital I got saved at a little country church. That old preacher was preaching hell fire and he made it hot. I was worried about going to hell. I raced down that aisle in the middle of his sermon and threw myself onto the alter. He said, “boy what are you doing?”
I said, “I can’t wait preacher! I gotta get saved now!” He stopped and came down to me and we said a little prayer and I was pronounced saved. “What now?” I asked
“You’re saved and you ain’t goin’ to hell.” The old preacher smiled as he walked back to his pulpit. “That’s all you need to know.” Well, looking back, I’ve never met a preacher, before or since, that was more wrong.
Mama died in 1989 with breast cancer. Dad followed four years later in 1993 with colon cancer. The devil took my parents from me way too soon. I tell you, the devil was at fault. But I believed all his lies and I blamed God for it. I turned bitter.
The years rolled by pretty quick. I had married and started a family. I divorced. The more bitter I became with God, the greater my losses were. The devil was a master at his deception. I re-married and soon lost a literal fortune when stocks crashed after 9-1-1. I lost everything that I’d worked my whole life to build. I blamed God and I became even more bitter. But here’s the kicker. God DIDN”T DO ALL THAT! The devil STOLE that from me! In my ignorance, and greed, I let it happen. Why? Because I sat and worried about that fortune.
So, what did mama accomplish with all her worry? I’ll tell you. It ain’t pretty. Unknowingly, Mama opened a door through which the devil walked freely into and out of our lives throughout the seasons. She didn’t understand that God had everything in His hand, that He was in control. She never saw any door but her worry opened a portal through which the enemy came to steal way too many years in our lives, to kill, and destroy our family. Looking back, I can see the years, health, finances, and relationships that were stolen or destroyed. I reckon I bear as much blame as anyone.
I mentioned earlier that I have a plate and four screws in my neck holding my head up. That was from a collapsed disc between the C6 and C7 vertebrae acquired by multiple neck injuries over the years. The result of too many uncalculated risks that went awry. I have an artificial knee. I got that trophy from picking too many fights with thunderstorms and charging into too many lost battles. I have an overhauled heart due to a dislodged blood clot that blocked three primary arteries in my heart. I should have been dead instantly, according to the wisdom of man. THAT little incident was just a blatant attempt by the ENEMY to KILL me! But God wouldn’t allow it. You see, God had a plan for me and the devil had simply overstepped his boundaries. I was fifty-four years old before I understood God’s mercy, before I understood God’s sovereignty. It was only then that I began to realize all that the devil had stolen from me.
All of that is what mama accomplished with her worrying. She opened the door for the devil to sneak in undetected, destroying the family that she loved. She never saw any door. She didn’t know. She had merely not been taught God’s sovereignty and how to put her whole trust in Jesus. The devil sneaked in and took, and took, and took, and stole what was rightfully mine. And, for a long time, in my own ignorance, I allowed him to do it. But no more.
I wasted so many years being bitter, angry, and harsh. I wasted so many years crippled by anxiety and depression. I wasted so many years fighting battles that never should have been fought to begin with. I’ve awakened on several occasions realizing how close I had come to death the previous day. I’ve knocked on death’s door long, loud and hard. By God’s mercy I was denied entry on every occasion. I never thought about walking back in time and closing the door that mama opened.
Here is a Life Lesson for all you moms and dads. Learn to TRUST in the LORD! Do not allow your worries and fears to rule you or manifest in the lives of your children! Be CAREFUL of your words and your actions around your children. Teach them to be fearless and confident in the LORD. If your children trust you, teach them to trust in the LORD even more so!
In my case, it was all about a mother’s love and concern for her baby boy that the devil perverted with WORRY! The son saw that worry, fear, and anxiety and it was ingrained into his psyche and heart at a very young age. The devil sold me the lie that was interwoven into a mother’s love, who truly loved her son and told the son, “That’s normal. That’s your mama! That’s who you are!” I bought the lie and I paid dearly for it.
Yes, that was my mother. But that’s NOT who I am! That’s who I TRIED to be! But I no longer struggle with fear, anxiety or depression. That’s not who I am! I am a favored son of God Almighty! I always have been, I just didn’t know who I was for most of my life. I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be.
Oh, but God never forgot about a twelve-year-old boy who broke up a preacher’s sermon to be saved! I’m living proof. Not only do I know who I am but I understand who GOD IS! I’m TAKING BACK what has been stolen from me.
I DO have a beautiful, loving wife. I HAVE four great kids and eight grand kids. I love’em all! They love me too, well…most of the time. I have a job and a means to go to and from work. I have a wonderful church family and I am honored to serve as a Deacon and Minister of the Gospel! What do I have to be fearful, anxious, or depressed about!
I’d be lying to you if I said that I had everything that I wanted. But I can say that I have everything that I need! I’ve had everything that I wanted at one time and I was miserable. That’s money, nice truck (I’m a truck guy), hunting trips, fishing boats, great home, travel trailers. Whatever I wanted, I had it! And, it was PAID for! So, why was I so miserable, fearful, anxious, and depressed?
Something was missing. What was missing was…well…a daily walk with God. I had replaced God with material possessions. I had replaced God with what I WANTED! I had put ME first and God didn’t even make the top 40 list!
I want to make something clear. Way back when… I stepped away from God. God has never stepped away from me!. God was right there when I needed Him. Seems like He had been following me around all that time. I turned around and it’s there that He greeted me like I’d never left.
I learned to worry from mama. With worry accomplished, I learned anger, fear, anxiety and depression. All those things allowed the devil to cripple me for most of my life. Unknowingly, mama opened that door for Satan’s campaigns into my life. It was up to me to say, “Enough is enough. I had to go back and slam the door shut. Devil, I’m coming to take back EVERYTHING you’ve taken from me! I demand restitution for the family members you killed and the lives you destroyed! I will not accept your apologies or your offerings! Your time of payment is coming soon and I expect payment IN FULL! Proverbs 6:31 “But when he (the thief) is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house.” (NASB ’97; words in parenthesis are my own for illustration)
Now, stop and think for a moment. Stop and think for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. What has that crafty devil stolen from you! Who have you watched him kill? What have you seen him destroy? Get that picture in your mind and embed it deep into your heart. Now, look back. You may have to go back to your earliest childhood days, as I did, to find it. But look back and find that unlocked door that allowed the enemy to invade your life and steal the joys of life that are rightfully yours. Now, go close that door! Don’t be any too gentle in closing it either.
Have you found that door? No? Stop right now! Look at your situation! Where did your woes begin? Go past that! Find the root or the entrance to the problem. If you’ve made mistakes, own them. Whether it be ignorance, pride, worry, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, or whatever else the case may be. It doesn’t matter what the cause was that opened that door. I’ve stepped into stupid WAY over my eyeballs. Yet, God waited for my return. Find that door that the enemy used to gain passage into your life and the lives of your loved ones. Then, close the door.
Mama, I love you and I miss you terribly. I know you loved me. That’s all that matters.
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