by Rev. Vonnie James, Grenada Baptist Association
Many people spend a significant amount of time worrying. “Worry is what happens when your mind dwells on negative thoughts, uncertain outcomes or things that could go wrong (www.nymc.edu). Some people even worry about worrying too much (Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu).
For Grenadians and Caribbean people of faith, we are very familiar with worry as a cultural phenomenon. We spend time counselling many in our congregations and communities and some of the usual woes are, whether my husband or children will become Christian Believers, will I find a Christian person to marry or whether I will have enough money to meet the mortgage payments and or not get cut off by a utility company.
In this period of Covid-19, some people have moved from worrying about contracting Covid-19 to worrying about their own economic future; whether or not they will become jobless or if their elderly parents or a family member were to die, will they be able to afford the burial.
For Christian Believers, worrying is a lack of trust in God and God’s ability to provide a positive outcome over a confronting situation, perceived or real. Jesus thesis on worry is that worrying is a waste of time. We know worrying is a waste of brain cells because Jesus asked, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?” (Luke 12:25).
Recently the National Insurance Scheme of Grenada (NIS) allocated EC$10 million (US$ 3,700,209.00) available for Covid-19 temporary unemployment benefit. This will see mostly eligible Grenadians receiving a monthly payment of EC$330 (US$122.11) for up to 6 months. Eligible people must be unemployed as a direct consequence of Covid-19. While the Director of NIS, Dorsett Cromwell, indicated NIS intentions, no one knew that NIS would have made this decision. For those who were worrying, God has somehow provided.
This is how we should fight off worry, especially in this Covid-19 time. First, we ‘Put God First ‘in our lives (Luke 12:31) by (a) Prioritising God’s reign (b) Practicing God’s rule and (c) Proclaiming God’s righteousness. Second and last, we ‘Pray about everything’ (Philippians 4:6-7) with (a) Prayer of Praise (b) Prayer of Request and (c) Prayer of Thanksgiving.
Let us encourage others to speak to a spiritual or clinical mental health professional if worry is a struggle.