I have a pain in my neck. And thanks for your advice on what ails me, but it’s being taken care of. The practitioner who’s helping the pain go away thinks it is stress-induced. He barely knows me. Unfortunately, I know me, and I think he may be right. And, again, thanks for your advice on what ails me, I’ve already received the best advice available.
The very day I was told I have allowed stress to become a pain in the neck, the morning reading in the Psalms came from Psalm 37. Diagnosis and antidote right there:
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
The psalmist is dealing with evildoers and wrongdoers, and he frets. What a great word. The New Testament tells us not to be anxious. I like the Old Testament word fret. It fits me perfectly. Anxiety is not my issue. The Hebrew word has to do with a slow burn, seething. The English word has to do with wearing down. The constant presence of the evildoers is wearing. Wrongdoers at every turn put the psalmist into a slow burn. Worn down and worn out.
Unlike the psalmist, I am not so much afflicted by doers of evil and wrong as by things and situations. I think I know what they are, but I don’t need to name them here. I know, it would be fun to know.
The point is that things and situations set me to fretting. Fret not yourself, the psalmist says, it tends only to evil. It tends to a pain in the neck.
The psalmist then writes a prescription. Ten doses to be taken daily.
- Trust in the Lord
- Dwell in the land
- Befriend faithfulness
- Delight in the Lord
- Commit your way to the Lord
- Be still before the Lord
- Wait patiently for the Lord
- Refrain from anger
- Forsake wrath
- Fret not
I’ve got good reasons to be on a slow burn, to be worn down. Oh, if you only knew. What? You, too?
The practitioner who’s dealing with the pain in my neck says I’ll be feeling better in no time.
The Psalmist has given me a longer-term solution. Fret not. It tends only to evil.
See you Sunday