Last week I mentioned my fear of hurting my hands. As a guitar player, it wouldn’t take more than a slip while doing the dishes to cut myself badly enough that I couldn’t play. And I have a whole lot riding on my playing. As in my job. As in a family to take care of.
After writing that post, I received an email. This email very gently took me to task and said that my fears were unfounded and that I needed to have more faith. That person is half right.
You see, in this instance, my fears are not unfounded.
My family always does that gift swap game at Christmas time. A few years ago, one of the cooler gifts was a big knife that would have made Crocodile Dundee proud. I wanted that knife. My family knew me and my clumsy tendencies too well. That year the gift swap became a game of “don’t let Mark get that knife!” And I would soon find out they had good reason.
Two Christmases ago, I was helping my wife and father-in-law move a big stack of heavy tiles. We loaded them on a hand truck and tried to push them through a door. The tiles were so heavy that we couldn’t get them over the threshold. I got down to lift the hand truck from the bottom while we pushed it through the door.
“Ready?” someone asked. I wasn’t ready. “Hang on,” I replied.
Somebody didn’t hear me. The truck was pushed, and my fingers were underneath it. I was sure I had broken my hand.
While I didn’t break my hand, I had smashed two of my fingers. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. It would be several weeks before I could play guitar. Miraculously, I didn’t have a show for over a month. When I did play, it hurt to no end.
Last Christmas (why is it always at Christmas?), I decided to give away a couple of hunting knives. I had kept them tucked away in the basement, but was worried my girls (or me!) might find them and get hurt. I showed one of the knives to my cousin.
They say that left-handed people are more accident prone. In this case, the knife was made to be pulled out in one swift motion with the right hand. Being left-handed, I tried to hold the sheath with one hand and pull the knife out with the other. Not good.
I cut two of my fingers halfway to the bone. Because of where they were cut, I couldn’t get stitches, so was left to sort of grin and bear it. The “grinning” part was fine, but the “bearing” part involved quite a few painful performances last January.
So I do have reason to be afraid of cutting my hands.
But what do I do with the fear?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~ Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
The person emailed me the other day might not have realized the extent of my “hand” issues, but they were right on about one thing. I need to trust God more.
It’s so hard to let go of “all these things”, isn’t it? For me it’s security, taking care of my family and taking care of my ability to provide for them. For you, it’s probably something else.
In the above passage, Jesus has just told people not to worry about things like food and shelter and clothing. Basically all the reasons I worry about my hands. I don’t need to worry about what I need to do to take care of my family. God knows my needs. He’s got it.
I just need to give God my fears. I just need to seek after his kingdom and his righteousness. He will take care of “all these things”.
Do you have any deep fears? What do you do with them? Use the comments section to discuss!