Joan Waterman - Fret Not - Leyland Special Meetings - 1982

Eva and I had some disappointments at the beginning of the year, and when we were preparing for the Gospel meeting, not knowing whether any would attend, but knowing that a few faithful friends would be coming to stand by us, Eva used to say that "first the children should be fed," and this helped me in my preparation. We were grateful to know that there would be a handful of friends - perhaps no more than six sometimes - and they were eager and waiting to see what the Lord would give them to eat.

Thinking of the words of the Psalm: "Fret not." Sometimes people wonder how they are going to get through this wilderness journey, this life's pilgrimage, but I like the words of the hymn, which gave me the answer, "Be true today" - just to be true today. Each morning, as one would awaken to face the new day, not knowing what it may hold, if we could just settle this in our hearts as a waking thought, "I will be true today," and as we strive after that ambition, we are going along the way in this pathway.

We hear the expression these days, "world recession," and I do not understand much about it, but I understand the word means "a withdrawal, or a holding back." How wonderful it is that, once again, the attitude in God's Kingdom is so opposite to the ways of the world - there is no question of a recession. One of the reasons why we are gathered today and why God wants to gather us together in the little meetings, it is to urge His people and to help them to go forward, never to know anything about this recession.

In Psalm 37, it mentions three times, "Fret not thyself." We studied that Psalm for a Wednesday evening meeting, and in the morning of that day I had a letter from a Brother abroad, and he mentioned this very Psalm and gave the Spanish translations for those three "Fret not’s." Yesterday, those words came to me for no accountable reason, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people. Speak comfortably or speak gently to them." God's people need comfort, they need tenderness, gentleness. I know there are many of you who feel the need of comfort for so many reasons - comfort because of loss, comfort because of disappointments, because of sickness, because of difficulties in the lives of loved ones as well as in one's own life – comfort so that we will not fret in our journeying. Fretting paralyses, but trusting stabilizes. Fretting certainly paralyses us.

The Spanish for the first "Fret not" is "Be not impatient with others." I have thought a lot about that, and I realize how impatient I could be with others – impatient because people will not come to meetings - impatient when they do not listen - impatient when people in a district show no interest. Being impatient can cause us to be fretful and can lead to a loss of usefulness. We could be impatient with one another, we could feel that someone does not understand, and "Why don't they understand?" We have to guard against that because it just creates fretting.

The Spanish for the second "Fret not" is "Do not be disturbed." We can think, "Why can't I get on as well as another person, either naturally or spiritually?” There is a tendency to feel that way. "Why am I not getting out of the Bible what the next person is getting?" That will not help us - it creates a fretting spirit and it will keep us back from ever getting anything from the Bible and getting anywhere when we pray.

The Spanish for the third "Fret not" is "Do not lose your composure." God wants to see a composed people, a people who are steady and true and constant, and who are trying to live up to that vow, "I have vowed to be true and to change not" – that quiet steady composure in our lives, and that assurance of hope and a joy and a peace that only come from a whole-hearted service to God.

For another Bible reading, we studied Psalms 42 and 43. Several times David asks his own soul, "Why art Thou disquieted within me?” Have you ever asked your own soul? Sometimes I have pulled myself up and asked myself why am I fretting and why have I lost my composure. The answer is in these Psalms, "Hope thou in God." There will be these days of fretfulness, but David said, "Hope thou in God." That took him into the sanctuary, and it took him to the altar.

I would like to find my hope in God that would take me into His sanctuary, and would lead me to the altar. In continually trying to sacrifice to God, that is the way I find my peace.