Some of you lay awake last night worrying about something. It may have been the blood panels that made your doctor want to do a few more tests. “It’s probably nothing,” he said, but your mind has gone crazy ever since.
A few of you were thinking about your kids, worrying a little (or a lot!) about some choices they’re making. Why don’t they just listen to me? Or, This is probably just a phase they’re going through . . . right?
You may have been fretting over your job. It’s nothing definite yet, but the numbers aren’t looking good, and you’ve heard through the breakroom grapevine that layoffs are almost certainly coming. People in your department aren’t optimistic.
And then there’s retirement. How long will Social Security be around? And what if I don’t have enough invested? What about this healthcare mess?
Or it could’ve been just a general sense of unease with nothing specific. I’ve had sleepless nights where I felt like I needed to be worried about something but couldn’t figure out what it was. (Yeah, I’m good at this worrying thing)
I know folks who don’t worry at all—they know it doesn’t do any good, won’t change anything, etc.—so they don’t do it. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect those people are in the minority. Worry invades the hearts of good Christian people, even people with strong faith.
Like most of our struggles, Jesus speaks quite directly to anxiety. Below is a longer passage than usual, but please take time to read it:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:25-34).
There’s a lot in that passage, but it all comes down to one thing.
Trust . . . or the lack of it.
I don’t want to oversimplify what Jesus says, but here’s the gist of it: Your heavenly Father feeds the birds, and he clothes the grass of the fields—can’t we trust him to take care of us as well?
Well, yes, we can and should, but we don’t always do it.
Pause and think about this today. Ask yourself what’s going in in your life that’s robbing you of peace. What’s keeping you awake at night? What’s causing your stomach to churn? What’s keeping you from enjoying the blessings God has given you?
Whatever that thing is, turn it over to God. He’s big enough to handle it, don’t you think?
He is, and he will, so give it to him. Ask him to take it off your shoulders. Ask him to work things out according to what he knows to be best. And then ask him to help you live the life of joy he wants to give you.
And sleep better tonight.