Those of us who care for children and young people with additional/special needs, whether as parents/carers, children’s and youth workers, or in other professional roles, become good at expecting the unexpected, anticipating the unpredictable, and dealing with unsurprising surprises! Our lives are different than most, no two days are the same, and we get to ride on a rollercoaster of emotional, physical and spiritual demands that can be both exhilarating and exhausting!
I believe there are two distinct ‘camps’ that we can find ourselves in, especially as parents and carers. These two camps are very different indeed; one is a much better and healthier place to be than the other. By thinking about them more, we can learn to spend more time in the ‘healthier’ camp than the ‘unhealthy’ one. The two camps are Worriers and Warriors, and we’ll have a look at both, including what God might be saying to us about this.
We’re not talking about having right levels of concern for our child; that is entirely appropriate and we would be irresponsible not to worry a little. I’m talking about the gut-wrenching worrying about things that keep us awake all night, stop us from eating, cause us to have that permanent careworn look about us, where we’re so exhausted from worry that we are taking very little care of ourselves. I’m sure many of us have been there, maybe you are there right now, overwhelmed by worry and not knowing what is going to happen next.
Jesus told us not to worry, but to focus on the things of God and let Him help us, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27, NIV*.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, he encourages us not to worry, but to pray, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7, NLT.
And of course both of them are right; both make very important points. It’s true that worrying achieves nothing, it’s also true that prayer achieves much, including the peace that Paul writes about. You may think that this is much easier to say than to do, and sometimes it is, but doing something that might initially feel harder but is really positive and fruitful—prayer—is so much better than doing something that comes very easily, but that is destructive and unfruitful—worrying.
Jesus and Paul don’t tell us just to be passive prayers, but to be thankful for what God has done and to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness. We’re called not to be worriers, but to be warriors!
Source: Special Needs Parenting- Key Ministry