Why Worry?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).

Why Worry--older woman's praying hands in her lap

“Why worry when we can pray?”

Those were the last words Marian Woosley said to every visitor. Although she spent her final years in a nursing home, she never lost her sparkle. Regardless of the day’s difficulties or the topic discussed, she always smiled as she reminded us of worry’s dead end and prayer’s promises.

Mrs. Woosley suffered numerous health issues, lost her husband twenty years before, and could no longer remain home. Yet she radiated peace and joy. The reflection of Jesus’ love in her life was like a magnet that drew all ages to her.

She loved playing her keyboard while others sang along. The seventh and eighth grade girls Bible study class I teach visited her occasionally. One Christmas we gave her a large print hymn book, as the small print was becoming increasingly difficult for her to read. She gave us far more by loving us and showing us how to live well regardless of our circumstances.

Why Worry--older woman's hand on musical keys

Mrs. Woosley’s friends and family repeated her favorite words to one another on March 19, 2011, as we celebrated her ninety-plus years of life and entry into the presence of her Lord.

A choir member recalled Mrs. Woosley asking him to sing “the rainbow song” (Chuck Milhuff’s The Brush) to anyone who happened in while he was there.  She loved its message and wanted others to hear it too. So he sang that when we give the paintbrush of our lives to Jesus, He takes our messes and, with a dip of His brush in a rainbow, signs as payment for our price. Mrs. Woosley gave her paintbrush to Jesus a long time ago and took everything to Him in prayer.

Why Worry--multicolored paintstrokes background with a heart in the foreground

The pastor’s entire message of comfort revolved around Mrs. Woosley’s philosophy of praying rather than worrying. As she would have wanted, he shared how it can apply to our lives as well. The message was not his, nor was it Mrs. Woosley’s. The message belonged to Jesus, who freely offers each of us the reassurance Mrs. Woosley enjoyed every day.

A grandson concluded the service with their family’s travel psalm. They pray Psalm 121 before any journey. As he began reciting its words, the entire family quietly joined him from their seats. The impact of her legacy of faith grew more evident through that powerful farewell prayer by those who knew her best and loved her most.

“Why worry when we can pray?”

Diana Derringer

Diana Derringer is an award-winning writer and author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! Hundreds of her articles, devotions, dramas, planning guides, Bible studies, and poems appear in more than 40 publications, including several anthologies. In addition, Diana writes radio drama for Christ to the World Ministries. Her adventures as a social worker, adjunct professor, youth Sunday school teacher, and friendship family for international university students supply a constant flow of writing ideas. For a free copy of Diana’s “Words of Hope for Days That Hurt” and her weekly Words, Wit, and Wisdom: Life Lessons from English Expressions, join her mailing list at https://dianaderringer.com.

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