May 23, 2021
These pictures were taken when Joe and I tied the knot.
Here’s another way we tied a knot:
Once upon a time there was a sock. This lone sock kept ending up on the dryer. I thought it belonged to Joe, so I kept putting it on the stack of laundry I delivered to him just about every morning. The sock did not actually belong to Joe (three men in my house…we mixed up lots of laundry), but I didn’t realize that. Actually, I didn’t realize that I was putting the same sock on his pile day after day. I just thought it was single, looking for a match.
So, Joe kept throwing the sock on the dryer, because it was not his. And I kept putting it back with his laundry, because I thought it was. And it was getting on his last nerve! Bless his heart.
One morning, I was minding my own business, READING THE BIBLE at the kitchen table, when Joe stomped in and THREW the sock down in front of me (I know ya’ll think he was perfect, and he was pretty close, but he’d throw a hissy fit (aka: flounce) once in a while), saying the sock did not belong to him. He then went to take a shower and slammed the bathroom door.
Well….I adjusted my halo, grabbed the sock and marched right out to his truck, where I placed the sock neatly and sweetly under his windshield wiper.
I thought nothing else of it until I sat down in my car to go work. I found the sock…tied in an absolute Boy Scout knot around my steering wheel, courtesy of my sweet Joe.
Two days and a case of carpal tunnel syndrome later, I finally just cut the dang thing off.
This week, Joe’s lesson is about getting ourselves tied into a knot of worry, and why Jesus says we should not.
Worry Does No Good
I believe we all probably worry more than we’d like to admit. We worry about our children, our jobs, our money, we worry about our relationships with others—and the list goes on and on. But we all know that worry is nothing new. In fact, Jesus thought it was so important, He spent part of one of His most famous sermons discussing it.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives four reasons why we shouldn’t worry about anything.
- Worry doesn’t make sense.
Matthew 6:25 states, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
I can tell you from experience that worry often makes the problem seem worse than it actually is.
- We are the only creatures on earth that worry.
Matthew 6:26: “ Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Birds just do what they do, and God looks after them.
- Worry is unhelpful.
In Matthew 6:27,Jesus says: “ Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Worry won’t make us taller. It won’t lengthen your life and it cannot control your future. However, it can ruin your today. The only thing worry can change is you—and in doing so, worrying can make you absolutely miserable.
- Worry is unnecessary.
In Matthew 6:30 we find: “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
God promises that He will meet our needs. He created us and he loves us. We have him with us all the time if we have placed our trust in Jesus.
So, tell me this morning…why in the world should we worry? I’ll leave you with a line from one of my favorite songs. “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”
“Tied in a knot” was a phrase Joe used to describe me long before we ever married. I have a somewhat vivid imagination, and I can get myself worked into a nervous frenzy most anytime. Joe would leave his phone in the truck and march into the woods somewhere, and I would call him (just once or three times). If he didn’t call me pretty quickly, I would quickly determine that he had been eaten by a boa constrictor and needed me to dial 911.
Joe, however, hardly ever seemed to lose his composure (which aggravated me to no end). He claimed that I did enough worrying for the both of us. He was not wrong.
Joe stood at the microphone one Sunday morning in church to play his guitar and sing a solo. Before he sang, he spoke briefly, sharing his own testimony. He said that he was saved as a young boy, tried to be a good Christian man, but it was not until a recent health scare that he truly knew he was right with the Lord should his life on this earth end.
Just a few weeks before, Joe found himself in the middle of a nest of hornets. Between the hornet stings and the spray used to kill them, he quickly became very ill. I found him on the couch, sweating profusely, heart racing out of his chest, his skin a sickly grey, and his breath coming in jagged snatches. He was calm (I was not). I called 911, sent my brother to our neighbor’s to find some Benadryl or an Epi Pen or something, and pretty much dragged Joe’s mama (who lives next door) out of the shower to come help me. I did not do those things in that order, and I did not clarify that Joe was in the house, so my brother and my mother in law ran all over the yard looking for Joe, thinking he had collapsed outside. There’s a reason I don’t work in the ER, y’all.
I was FRANTIC. I paced back and forth, convinced myself that the ambulance couldn’t find us back in the woods (if you know where we live, you know we can just about touch the EMS building from the back porch…bless my heart), and questioned Joe’s serenity in a situation of literal life and death. I remember the two things he said to me (other than, “Babe, you have GOT to calm down”). He said, “I sure do love you” –that was the point that I KNEW he thought he was about to check out of Planet Earth–and then he said, “I am going to be ok.”–I really believed he just said that because he thought I was going to pass out, didn’t want to share the ambulance with me. 🙂
It wasn’t until that Sunday morning when he shared his testimony that I understood what he meant. He explained that, yes, that day he thought he might be living his last few moments on this side of Heaven. However, he also said that he was filled with an unexplainable peace in his heart. He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he was in fact going to be ok, no matter what happened in the moments to come. He was not worried.
Worry makes no sense: In retrospect, I can see that running around like a chicken with my head cut off caused more confusion and panic than anything. Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life”. Joe was in God’s hands that day.
Worry is not helpful: Again, all I did was aggravate a poor man who was on my couch trying his best not to expire, scare his mama to pieces, and try to micromanage a team of trained professionals as they wheeled into my driveway. Jesus said, “Can you add a single hour to your life by worrying?” Joe was in God’s hands that day.
Matthew 6:30 ends with a phrase that sums up my actions during that event: “...you of little faith.” I am not proud of that, but it is the truth. My fear was great and my faith was small. Joe said that worry is unnecessary, and yet I bounced around, trying my best to control a situation that was already handled. The paramedics gave Joe a magic shot, and shortly he was as good as new. Jesus had it covered.
Scary as it was, that nest of hornets was a gift. You see, there would come a night, several years later, when the scene would look eerily similar. Again, I tied myself in a knot, called 911, and tried my best to control a situation that was already handled. This time, the paramedics would arrive too late. But Joe didn’t need a shot. With his head in my lap, his soul left his body. And, this I know for sure–Joe was filled with a peace that passes all understanding as he was swept up into the arms of our Lord. He was made as good as new. Jesus had it covered.
Joe was in God’s hands that day.
So, when I think of that dang sock wound and bound around my steering wheel, I see myself. Maybe you see yourself a little bit, too? We tie ourselves in this knot of worry, right around the wheel of The One who steers us every second. Don’t you know it’s harder for Him to drive that way? I know it was hard for me!! If we didn’t get ourselves tied up so tight, we might not have to take such drastic measures to undo the knot. Perhaps if we could just stop long enough to listen, we’d hear the reassuring words, “I sure do love you. You are going to be ok.”
God promises that He will meet our needs. He created us and he loves us. We have him with us all the time if we have placed our trust in Jesus. This was true before Joe passed away. It was true the day he landed in a hornet’s nest and it was just as true the night he went to Heaven. It has been true on every single day since.
So, tell me this morning…why in the world should we worry? “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” Trust Him, sweet friend. He does love you so very much. You ARE going to be ok.
You are in God’s Hands today. ❤️
-Words of Wisdom from The Book of Joe