“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 important than food, and the body more important 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:25-29, 33-34. (NIV)
Are you a worrier? I’ve been known to be one at times. And nowadays, it’s easy to find things to worry about. Just opening the daily news on the internet bombards our senses and raises our “anxiety-meter”. Actions of our government, the world, local stories, even the weather…these are enough to get our collective worry-juices flowing… And that’s not even looking within our own families, where perceived trouble and challenges seem to always be brewing. At least in my family. Maybe yours is perfect and always serene, where everyone always is wonderful and has their ducks in a row. Wanna trade?
Just joking… but you get my point. That is why I love this writing of Jesus. Jesus steps in and hits the nail on the head—worried about your life? Your clothes? Food on the table? You fill in the blank ______. What are you worried about? Jesus reminds us that God notices even the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, and they have food and beautiful “clothes”, so God provides for even the smallest creatures of nature, why wouldn’t he provide for you?… I like how he reminds us that “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Great question, because the physiological effects of anxiety and worry may actually be taking hours OFF our lives. And the last verse– “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. I remind myself of this verse a lot. Day to day living. Praying through the challenges of THIS day only. It’s amazing, you should try it! When you quit worrying about the future, and quit wringing your hands over the past, and just focus on TODAY, it really does make a difference. I’ve seen it change my life, my inner peace, and my relationship with God. Jesus is right. I can only handle one day at a time–today. God will take care of the tomorrows.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” That is what we forget. We get so caught up in the things to worry about that we don’t seek God FIRST. That’s our remedy–seek God first, above all things, and he will give us what we need. Place our worries with God, get rid of them, like smelly trash bags, to the One who can do something about our lives. The circumstance may not change, we still will have challenges, but one thing will be eradicated—the worry! By emptying us of worries, God can then fill us with peace, hope, joy, grace, love…Aren’t those things you’d rather be filled with? Me too!
Activity– On a list or in your head, describe 5 worries you have. Share them in prayer with God, naming them one by one and asking God to take them away from you. Use the prayer below if needed.
Prayer- “Lord, I am tired of my worries and how they pull me down. They suck out my energy, rob me of joy, and I am asking for your help. I pray I may seek you first, so that I can learn more about the loving, graceful God that you are. As I give these worries away to you [insert your list here] I ask that you fill me with your grace, peace, joy, and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”