J.C. Derrick: The futility of worry

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, September 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. We live in an uncertain world, but WORLD Radio’s J.C. Derrick says there’s nothing to worry about.

J.C. DERRICK, MANAGING EDITOR: Where were you on 9/11? It’s a question most of us have discussed many times and can answer with vivid detail.

I was at home in Marshall, Texas—standing in the kitchen, to be exact. My dad rushed in and proclaimed: “We are under attack.” 

That’ll get your blood pumping first thing in the morning. 

We watched the coverage for I don’t know how long. I remember watching the towers fall on live TV. 

But eventually, the tasks of the day grabbed our attention. 

We had a family business that took us to Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, each week. They’re twin cities just across the state line. One of the cornerstones of the local economy is Barksdale Air Force Base—a key part of the nation’s nuclear triad.

Growing up an hour away from it never made me all that comfortable. I would fleetingly imagine the fallout if disaster ever struck. 

But my very back-burner fear moved to the front on 9/11. That afternoon, as we visited customers in Bossier City, we heard the news: President Bush had come to Barksdale. 

“No, not here!” I thought. “Anywhere but here!” 

Of course, nothing happened. But I’ll never forget that urge to flee somewhere, anywhere, except where the president was on that day when everything seemed so uncertain. 

In the weeks that followed, I faced another fear. I turned 18 a month after 9/11, so the prospect of a military draft seemed reasonable. Of course, that didn’t happen either. 

I could actually compile a very long list of things I’ve worried about that never materialized. I’m sure you could too. 

Even Winston Churchill—who had plenty to worry about!—noticed the same worrisome trend. Quoting now: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” 

I think that’s a big reason why God tells us not to be anxious (Mat. 6:34): most of the things we worry about never happen! 

But there’s another reason, a more important reason. And it’s this: We serve a sovereign God who is in perfect control of His created order. 

“In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus said, “But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

Now 18 years after 9/11, the world is just as uncertain as it was then—if not more so. But God is not asleep at the switch. And we know how the story ends.  

For WORLD Radio, I’m J.C. Derrick.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts that once faced the outer walls of the World Trade Center towers, after a terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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