I know I am a worrier. However, more recently, I have started to worry about being a worrier. Not least, I seem to get wound up about the most illogical of things at times like holidays when I have least to worry about.
In the end, I am not sure there is a cure. Since anxiety is a genuine symptom of many people’s lives. And to belittle that fact is to do them and yourself a disservice.
Yet there may be some ways to find management, relief and even some degree closure.
With that in mind, let us look at our passage for today.
Since it starts by counselling against worrying about ‘things’. Put directly, it seems to be saying sort your worries into two heaps; one for the important matters and one for the lesser. Perhaps, this step alone reduces the stress level by getting a focus on what truly matters. And, as important, it affirms that some concerns cannot be discarded in an attempt to return to naïvely carefree life. So, we are allowed to be concerned but then we are invited do something about it.
The next few verses sail dangerously close to the easy advice – why worry as you can’t do anything about it. Yet Matthew does show that you can always ‘do something about it’. He does show how much God looks out for each and every one of us; how much he cares for his creation. And it is that affirmation which can stop worries becoming malignant and life-sapping.
Nevertheless, in the whirlpool of anxiety we find any sense of divine presence let alone guidance impossible to focus on. Perhaps that’s because we are looking in the wrong place. For, around most of u,s are those who genuinely wish to listen, discuss and accompany us through the tremors of worry and the quakes of fear. And if you have no one who fits that bill maybe its time to get to a church where there is a Godly community.
Yet still we hang back; for we say – we can’t add a burden to someone else already bearing their own load of troubles. But that is denying the other her or his ministry. You are shutting down their calling from Christ to be your pastor and friend. Moreover, you might even be able to help and counsel them in return.
In sum, life can be difficult but no one asks that we live it alone. And that is certainly true of God. For he sent his son to offer salvation from anxiousness. All we need do is look around and see who is bringing that message of freedom to us. Moreover, all we need do is be open to being that life saver to another. Because, that is how the Christian game is played.
25 “So my counsel is: Don’t worry about things—food, drink, and clothes. For you already have life and a body—and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. 26 Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don’t worry about theirs. 29 Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you, O men of little faith?
31-32 “So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, 33 and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.
34 “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.[a]
Living Bible (TLB)
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.