Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:27 (NIV, 1978)
There was a brief exchange between flight controllers in the Academy Award-winning movie, Apollo 13, that took place as the wounded spacecraft was beginning its return to earth. The engineer monitoring their angle of descent informed the flight director that their angle was shallower than it should be and asked whether the crew should be made aware of this development. Gene Kranz, the legendary NASA flight director, asked if there was anything the crew could do about it. The engineer replied there was not. Kranz, in his typical stoic manner then replied, “Then they don’t need to know, do they?”
I am embarrassed to say that I discovered this liberating truth many years after I should have. Even worse, I discovered it as I was giving counsel to someone else who was struggling with fear over a health situation that was, by no means, trivial. I heard myself say, “And, exactly what can you do about it by worrying and losing sleep? These are the things that God has promised to carry for us.” I was actually somewhat startled by the abruptness of my words. But then I remembered that the things that caused Jesus to “marvel” were those rare moments when He observed someone walking in steadfast faith when their circumstance gave them no reason to do so.
The Holy Spirit gives us gifts and talents to navigate through life in a way that brings Him glory. However, there are those appointed times when we have no answers within ourselves, and we must submit to the sovereign love of our Maker who sees things we cannot. This is, no doubt, why Paul would later declare, “that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!”