My poor Dad. He is one of about 3 people in my life who are my “ear”. When I have something exciting, I call my Dad. When I’m upset and need to be talked down, I call my Dad. When I’m freaking out, I call my Dad. He listens with a patient ear to my long rants and usually has a few words of wisdom in return. His famous line “I don’t know what to tell ya, Ang..” is one that I hear often. But over the past few years, he has one line that we now have formed a dialogue around. It goes like this…
Dad: “Hey Ang. What would Tom Petty say?”
Me: (sigh) “Most things I worry about never happen anyways” (followed with an eye-roll and a good laugh”
Dad and Tom are quite right about this, but for some reason it’s something I often forget, hence the frequent Tom Petty dialogue to bring me back to my faith-filled, grounded center.
Here’s the thing. Everywhere we turn as followers of Christ, we face a crossroads of fear and faith. The world around us and our culture threaten harm, pain and failure.
But when we focus on Christ and tune out the noise, we realize through the promises in His Word that He will protect us.
Does this mean that we are immune to harm and pain? Unfortunately, no. But it does mean that we can approach God through prayer and ask Him to remove the grip that fear might have over us. And He even goes so far as to give us folks like Tom Petty and my Dad to remind us that even though there is a lot of bad out there, most of the things we fear never happen to us anyways.
Social media only seems to fuel the fear. There isn’t a day that my feeds aren’t flooded with a million and one terrifying headlines, scenerios, theories, accusations and “what-if’s”. But God tells us in His word not to listen to those things that threaten our security in Him. (John 14:27) That we shouldn’t allow the fear and anxiety to cause us to lose sight of Him who is the source of our un-worldly peace.
When we spend too much time worrying about tomorrow, we are going to miss out on what God is calling us to today!
My challenge for you this week is this. When you feel fear or anxiety creeping in, I want your to picture my Dad asking you a simple question:
“What would Tom Petty tell you?”
Then remind yourself of my answer:
“Most things I worry about never happen anyways”
Mini Bible Study
Grab your Bible and journal and dig in to God’s Word to learn even more about today’s topic!
♡ Read Isaiah 8:11-14. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is God speaking to in this passage?
- In verse 12, I’m reminded of social media headlines. So what should we do when we read scary things and jarring headlines?
- Verse 13 tells us that the Lord is the one we are to fear. But what does this actually mean? A few verses to help you think this through are: Psalm 34:7, Psalm 145:19, Psalm 147:11, Psalm 25:12, Psalm 103:11
- What does God promise to those who fear him? (verse 14)
♡ Read the following passages about fear and anxiety. Whichever passages really speak to you, take a minute and write them out in your journal or on notecards that you can put somewhere to see throughout the week.
- Isaiah 41:10
- John 14:27
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- 1 John 4:18
- Psalm 94:19
- Joshua 1:9
- Matthew 6:34 (see…Tom Petty heard these words from somewhere else…wink!)
- Luke 12:22-26
- Mark 6:50
- Psalm 34:4
- Romans 8:31