Today, The Tomorrow We Worried About Yesterday
The title quote by an unknown author, sums up many of our lives as we race through trying to juggle the challenges before us, and are weighed down with the ones beyond our control. If you were to Google “ How to stop worrying” on the internet, the first page that comes up is about 10 self help articles that offer advice on how to cope with worrying. As I read through them, they all offer good tips and advice. However, they all deal with this issue from the basis that we are independent individuals on this planet who need to talk ourselves through and cope with worry by resolving it internally and on our own. One article offered that we should set up a time to worry each day so that our efforts are contained into a time frame to worry. Then we are to use this time to be anxious and sort through the issue and its relevance. It continues by offering tips on eliminating sugars and caffeine because they tend to cause more anxiety and interfere with sleep.
While these may be the advice our society has to offer there is something more powerful than the physiological effects of this world. Our creator who made us tells us something else through the words of Christ in Luke 12:22, “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. Consider the ravens: they do not sow nor reap, they have no store room or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds.”
We can take security in this statement that our Lord will watch over us and we can have faith that he will provide what we need while on this earth, but everything requires a balance and we are still expected to work to provide for our family if able, and the work itself is God’s provision.
We need to consider also what worrying does and implies. When we read further on in Luke 12:25, Christ ask his disciples to consider “And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life? So if you cannot do such a very small thing as this, why do you worry about the rest?” We see the futility of worrying as he points out there is nothing productive that will come from it.
It also gives the implication that our faith is not what it should be. It is the absence of trust in God. As I read another article from Google it stated that “we should let go and understand we can’t control everything," but I would offer that we should let go and realize God controls everything. Let’s consider what faith and trust in God has done for those who have gone before us. Without faith Noah would not have built the Ark. What if Noah had been strung out on worry and doubt rather than diligently building a vessel by faith? We might not be here today if Noah was a worrier. What if Paul had been anxious and worrisome about the danger of his Journeys. How many souls might have been lost by his lack of faith?
If our faith is anchored in God we learn to let go of issues that we cannot control and address the things within our ability to control. A Chinese Proverb addresses this by stating “that the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build a nest in your hair, this you can prevent. As Christians we must trust that our Lord will provide and that his will is resolute. So we need to find a balance when facing the challenges in our life and not confuse worry with concern and an effort of resolve. A quote comes to mind by Pat Schroader, “You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.” Basically, If we are busy doing the Lords work we are too busy to worry.
He confirms this in Luke 12:30 “For all nations of the world pursue these things and your father knows that you need them. Instead pursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
Paul mentioned in one of his previous lessons that worry distracts us from what is most important and what we need to be doing. If we took the time mentioned above that was set aside for worry, and instead focused it into sincere prayer to our Father. Then truly left these things prayed for in God’s hands. Then little by little we can let go of the anxious conversations in our mind. and open a constant communication to God with our heart. Our lives can become so anxious and complicated that we forget how simple God’s love is and that he has promised us everything if we trust him and do his will. Psalms 37:5-6, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun."