In every life we have some trouble,
When you worry you make it double,
Don’t worry, be happy.
Lyrics from “Don’t worry be happy” by Bobby McFerrin
The Psalms tell us, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (118:24). Well, this is a cold day in Pittsburgh. No—on second thought it’s freezing. When I awoke this morning it was a frigid one degree above zero and quite windy, driving the wind chill well below zero. As I worked through my morning devotional I remembered to thank God that I was warm and snug inside my home. By midday it had already reached the predicted high, a sweltering 12 degrees.
I’m unemployed and looking hard for a good job these days, so I spend a lot of time at my computer. Today as I sat working on the laptop in my home office, I found myself spending long periods just staring out the window at the beautiful snow-covered woods before me. I couldn’t help but marvel at the amount of activity outside.
Birds were fluttering about despite the brutal weather. I keep my copy of the Peterson Field Guide® for Eastern Birds nearby. With it, I was able to identify cardinals, blue jays, robins (weird for winter), wrens, house finches, creepers, titmice, chickadees, and at least three kinds of woodpeckers. Watching so many birds going about their business despite the difficulties presented by the harsh weather was inspiring. It made me recall the scripture:
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)
I belong to a faith-based job networking group where there are lots of unemployed folks like me. For the unemployed, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with worry. Yet worrying about what might be tomorrow strips the joy from what is today. I find it helpful each day to review the inventory of the things I have to be thankful for. Faith, family, and friends are always at the top of my list—blessings that unemployment can never take away and for which I will always be thankful.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.” Being unemployed can be one of the greatest tests of faith a Christian will ever endure. Each time you find worry creeping into your thoughts, turn it into an opportunity for prayer.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)