Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, NIV)
I have been caring for Mary for multiple problems, including overweight and high blood pressure. I would like to report that she has lost the excess weight , exercise daily, and eats a Mediterranean diet, but this is not true! Not surprising, the absence of lifestyle change has not helped her blood pressure either. Recently she agreed to begin pharmacologic therapy for her hypertension. Despite this effort, her office blood pressure was unaffected.
Mary takes her blood pressure at home and at her last visit reported: “In the morning my blood pressure is good, about 118 over 70; but after work, it is much higher– 165 over 98.” “I gather you are relaxed in the morning and that work is stressful and demanding; am I right?” I asked. She agreed.
“Why don’t you tell me about your work day?” She has many conflicting demands. Although she works rapidly and is efficient, people continue to want more. Despite her best efforts, she cannot meet all the expectations and please each person who wants her to quickly finish a personal project first. This troubles her. “I try so hard to do better; I just can’t, she admitted.
“Tell me, Mary, if you were phenomenally efficient, did everything just right, and were totally on top of everything, would the impossible demands continue?” “Yes!” she responded with surprise.
“I hear you saying that regardless of what you do, nothing will be quite adequate. It seems to me that your work situation is out of your control, right?” With a sheepish smile, she agreed.
“Is there anyone who is pleased with you, Mary?” Smiling broadly, she pointed up and said, “God is pleased with me!” I readily agreed as, during the next two minutes, we each shared a little of God’s goodness. “Mary, why don’t you change who you work for?” She looked puzzled. I smiled: “Since God is so good and He loves you so much, why don’t you take Him as your boss?” She was thinking.
“Instead of trying to please people in such an impossible situation, be a good steward and do your best, not trying to please any human. Instead, submit to God. You know that God is with you; so frequently consult with Him about what He wants you to do next. As you do your work, see Him smiling at you and cheering you on.” She answered with a broad smile, “I can do that.”
To my question, “Would it help you if I prayed for you before I leave?” she responded, “Always!”
– Harvey Elder, LLUSM class of 1957