Do you find yourself wondering what will happen in the future? It could be the near future, like inspection at work, a doctor visit, making a large purchase, or deadlines that need to be met. It could also be distant things, like worrying about our children and their future, will we stay in good health, are we saving enough for retirement, or how long will we live. Some are even concerned about such things as the “what if’s” that might come up along life’s journey. The sad thing is that worry is a very real emotion, yet it does more harm than good.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:27 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Think about this, what does worrying help you accomplish? If you are worried because you are too short, will worrying over it make you taller? If you are worried about the possibility of getting sick, will worry protect you form illness? Of course not. While concern has its place and can aid us in making wise decisions, concern can turn into worry, anxiety, and thoughts that constantly dwell on troubles.
This type worry that Jesus is talking about is referring to having little faith. Faith is that total confidence in the provision of God. He illustrates this with the sparrows and lilies that He mentions in verses 26-28. Who takes care of them? The heavenly Father does, so if he cares them, imagine how much more He loves and cares for you! He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you and I that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
While we all have issues that must be dealt with, and they can often be unpleasant, we don’t have to let them overcome us. Trust is the key. When we are facing difficult circumstances, and worrying about the outcome, we can choose to trust in a loving Father who created us, and let go of the fear and doubt that can often cause us to panic.
There is no reward for worry. Jesus was asking them to take time and look at the world. Man did not create it, nor has man taken care of it. This earth is still in orbit, rain continues to fall, the trees grow, and life goes on. In Matthew 6:30 Jesus said, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
Let me encourage you to keep your focus on the heavenly Father and His provisions. When you feel overcome by the weight of what “might” happen, take time to remember what God has already brought you through. If the enemy can get you to take your eyes off Jesus, and focus on the negative around you, your vision will become distorted and doubt will creep in. Hold on, consider the lilies, and don’t worry — God’s got you!
I pray, “Father, forgive me when I doubt. Please take my worry, I give it to You. I choose to trust You. I see the sparrows and have considered the lilies, I know You love me. Replace the worry I surrendered to You with joy, peace, and comfort. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.