Who among us does not worry? Maybe there are some who don’t, but I haven’t met them. It’s in our nature to worry, and there are a million things to worry about. Your family, your job, finances, upcoming tough decisions, indecision, your or a loved one’s health and safety. Today, it’s COVID-19 and an uncertain economy. Tomorrow, or six months from now, it will be something else.
Worry causes anxiety. Anxiety causes stress. Worry, anxiety, and stress in small doses are manageable. These “micro” moments occur all the time. We work through them, and they dissipate. The problems arise, however, when we allow them to build and accumulate. The weight on our shoulders gets heavier and heavier until it crushes us. Our daily functioning is disrupted. We lose sleep. Our hearts race. We become distracted, unfocused, paralyzed by fear, and isolated.
Why do we let things get so out of hand? Because our faith in God is not front and center. We try to take on all the burdens ourselves. We try to “figure it out” on our own or maybe with family or friends. What an obvious blunder! We forget God is right beside us, watching, and waiting for us to ask Him for help.
How can we be so oblivious when the solution is so obvious? I don’t have a good answer. My guess is we become so engrossed in the problems, and they become so overwhelming, we become blind to our ability to step back, pray, and trust God for comfort, direction, and the solution.
We forget to trust God. The crises, whatever they may be, reveal weak spots in our foundations of faith. We still try to rely on ourselves to climb out of the valleys and grind through the trials. How foolish, when all we need to do is trust God. We can only trust God as our first response if our faith is strong and at the forefront of everything we do, encounter, and experience.
Take heart from the story about the Canaanite woman who simply wouldn’t give up her mission for Jesus, as Lord, to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28). Even Jesus was amazed by the depth of her faith. He healed her daughter that very moment.
I love Jesus’s commands to us in Matthew 6:25-34 (and note, his words are commands, not suggestions). He’s telling us “stop it!” and “are you kidding me?” and “where in the world is your faith in God, our Father?” Just reading these verses gives me a peace. I return to them often when I find worry, anxiety, and stress building.
If our faith is strong, and we trust God - who created everything, provides for all creatures, and made flowers more beautiful than Solomon’s finest robes - we will find peace, reassurance, and the paths over which we will walk with God, hand in hand, as He removes our worries and provides what we need. He loves us that much - more than everything else He created.
When I see wild flowers along my walking path, I immediately smile as I think of Jesus’s words. A feeling of calm washes over me as the worries of the moment fade away in the glow of God’s reminder that He is in control, He loves me, and He will meet my needs. All I have to do is have faith and trust in Him.
Strive to have and maintain a faith strong enough to believe God can move mountains. Then you will trust God to handle whatever obstacle, challenge, or fear you are facing - and God will take care of tomorrow.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
(NIV/copyright Biblica, Inc. 2011)
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© 2020 James Wallace