Do Not Worry
“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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I’m taking a class as I try to wrap up my doctoral studies at Fuller Seminary. It’s called, “Practicing the Way of Jesus” and we are studying the Beatitudes in order to develop spiritual practices that we can bring to our churches. This past week we focused on the theme, “Do not worry.”
Jesus reminds us to trust in the Sovereignty of God (“Look at the birds”) and the futility of worrying (“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”) Yet, I must admit, I still worry. I worry about finances. I worry about the election. I worry about people being isolated because of COVID. I worry about…worry! Don’t you worry, too?
I was encouraged to daily practice being grateful for specific things in my life as well as one area of need. As I focused on the ways that God had provided, it gave context to my legitimate worry without empowering it to become something I obsessed about. I could sense Jesus saying, “Don’t you know I care about you? Can you see how much I’m doing in your life?” With the gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit, I was able to spend the week leaning more on the reality of God’s presence above and beyond the reality of my circumstances. I fully acknowledged specific things I worried about, but I decided to bring them to the LORD in a purposeful way instead of holding onto them, trying to manage these worries on my own. I’m finding that putting these concerns in God’s hands means Someone much more capable than me is handling my life better than I could on my own. Perhaps you can hand over your worries to the LORD this week as well.
Questions to Consider
My professor asked me to do the following:
Make a list of the top 5 things you tend to worry about. Write them out in sentence form: “I worry that…” Take one worry and reflect/write.
Why do I tend to worry about this?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
What if the worry came true, what would that be like?
What does that tell you about what’s important to you, or where you find security?
Could you imagine being OK if the thing you fear did come true?
Finish this statement: “Good Creator, I trust that no matter what happens …”
Send me an email and let me know how you answered these questions and we can pray together for God to help you see that He is good to His word to take care of you amidst your very real challenging circumstances.
Max Lucado offers up this prayer:
Thank You that “before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4, NIV). Thank You that there are no surprises with You. Help me find deep comfort in the fact that You are unshockable and nothing is too great, too terrible, too large, or too heavy for You. Help me see the problems that I face today in light of how big You are. Amen.