The subject of the hour certainly seems to be the economy, more specifically, the negative ramifications on everyone. So many are out of work, wondering how to cope and just pay their bills. With job loss comes the loss of medical insurance and with it a fear that if you get sick or a member of your family does, it might require a costly hospital visit. Then there's the worry over making the mortgage payment and the cost of filling up the car to get to work or to get to an interview in hopes of finding work. And that's is just the short list. I have never experienced anything like this and can't imagine what those old enough to remember the Great Depression are feeling at the time. It's a scary, unpredictable time, I'm sure everyone will agree. But worry doesn't really change the situation and if it becomes all consuming, it can become immobilizing.
Now I could say what someone once said to me when I was worried, "just tell yourself not to be," but that bit of advice isn't much good. It's hard not to worry, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can truly only make things worse. I remember about 10 years ago when I was going through a very difficult time, fraught with questions, wondering if there was anything I could do in the face of nothing but sadness and worry, someone placed in my hands a book called Be Anxious for Nothing. Needless to say, the title promised at least some answers and I was in dire need of those. Simply summed up, this book took me on a journey, not a new journey for me, but one of which I needed to be reminded. Isn't it just like God to place me in the company of someone who had a book like this to help me see my way clear of my present difficulty? And isn't it just like God to answer my anxiety with a book that I needed to read?
I don't know about you but periodically I need to be reminded of God's presence in my life, reminded that I don't have all the answers, but He does. Does that happen to you once and an while? We're so surprised when things like this happen in our lives but we should remember that He is ALWAYS with us, watching, loving, caring, answering, and things like this don't just happen. "Out of adversity oft times good things come." Someone said that once; I don't know who but it's so true and maybe, if we can get passed our worry about the economy and it's negative effect on us, we might actually see something positive come out of that, too.
Just ponder for a moment, pre-recession, when the majority of American families were made up of working parents, at least two cars, (maybe a boat and a snowmobile, too) and over committed kids with an excessive wardrobe they'd grow out of before they could all be worn. Dinners together were rare, and crazy schedules made it unrealistic to plan any time for family activities, especially at home. Leisure time was almost non-existent so we'd plan a once-a-year vacation that was way over-the-top expensive to make up for the time we didn't have on a weekly basis. If there was extra time, we used it for shopping trips, dinners out, classes at the gym and seeing the latest movie releases.
But then, money got tight and we had to limit a lot of that. Maybe mom or dad lost their job and the other parent had to stay home with the kids saving money for daycare. Meals at home cost substantially less so families actually sat around the dinner table together. Movie night became a rented good family flick with everyone sharing a big bowl of popcorn. See where I'm going with this?
Maybe, just maybe, what will come out of this stressed out economy will be closer family relationships, a better understanding of what is involved with "keeping a home," and first-hand experience with being frugal. It's not as simple as that, to be sure, and it's hard not to worry but I think God has this whole thing figured out. Maybe we'd do better to be "anxious for nothing" while we're thanking God for His blessings, His love and His care. What better way to face life's worries than to give them to Him.