Why do I worry? I’ve pondered this question every day for the last 20 years. I remember a long stretch of time in third grade where I had serious trouble sleeping. My parents made sure I was in bed by 9 p.m., but I was so concerned about getting enough sleep, that I would lie awake for four, sometimes five hours worrying about needing to fall asleep. Thankfully I grew out of that stage. But even now, I find myself worrying about work responsibilities, finances, what people think of me, and the list goes on.
The question though, is why?
The easy and obvious answer to this question is because I, like the rest of humanity, am a broken human being. I am a sinner, thankfully saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, but this side of eternity I am still a human who is affected by, and wrestles with sin. But what lies beneath this easy answer? Is there a more specific explanation that describes where my worry and anxiety come from?
The book “Awe,” by Paul David Tripp explains that one of the most basic yet overlooked sins of humanity is misplaced awe. The fact is that humanity was created by God and meant to live in awe of him. Tripp states that humans are “hardwired for awe” (54). but so quickly, we replace awe of God with awe of creation. More so, “At a deep and often unnoticed level, sin replaces worship of God with worship of self” (55). These words are reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s description of fallen humanity in Romans 1:25: “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”
Thus, the deeper explanation of my sin of worry is that the awe of my problems, my desires, my life, my-self has overtaken my awe of God. Can you relate? We so often replace the awe meant for magnificent, infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God with a measly, sinful human by the name of “me.”
You might be thinking, “Well Evan, this is a helpful diagnosis, but where is the hope?” Tripp rightly explains that “Only grace can give us back our awe of God again”(61) and grace is found in Jesus the Messiah! Second Corinthians 5:15 reminds us that Jesus “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Praise be to God, and God alone, for the mighty hope of grace-filled salvation (the very saving us from ourselves and bringing us into right relationship with the God of all the universe) that is only found in Jesus the Messiah!
So, why do I worry? Because I suffer from misplaced awe! Because I do not acknowledge the awesome God that I serve. Brothers and sisters, to put it in very simple terms, God is so much bigger than me, my problems, my will, or my wants. He is the Creator of all that has ever been and ever will be. God created you and me, and he deserves nothing less than our awe.