Are you a worrier? I am. I know that I have talked about this before, but I believe it deserves a return visit from time to time. Why? I guess that I worry the message of how useless it is to worry will be missed. So, before I go any further, turn in your Bible to Luke 12:22-34 and read it aloud. Yes, out loud. To hear these words with our hearts, we must let them in through our ears. Our minds fool us into believing that they are the focus of all instruction. It is not so.
Now, if you did not read the words aloud, go back and try again. If so, we will proceed. What did you hear? What entered your heart and tripped an alarm? The truth is, if we never accept that worrying is futile, we will never grow past it to where we can take one day at a time and live it fully. Worrying will not add another day to our lives, the text tells us, so it is important to set aside every foolish thought that we can somehow accomplish more through worry.
Two recent events reaffirmed the truth that worrying is of no use for me. The first was a request for healing. Though the doctors were finished with their work, the body still had to journey on to completion of the healing process. And it was taking forever. We lifted more prayer, and I began to worry that the doctors might have to revisit what they had done to see if there was anything they might have missed. Thankfully, the doctors were not tuned into the same song of worry that I was humming. Instead, they gave the body time to complete its journey of healing. And it did. And we praised God.
The second was an administrative issue that was causing no small amount of distress for me and a few others. Always knowing what to say and what to do are difficult to discern. At the same time, I worry that I have understood the meaning and intent behind the words of others correctly. Worrying that I might have misunderstood what was said, or that I said something that might have been misinterpreted causes me to fret. Thankfully, God reveals answers that surprise and amaze me (you, too?); it just took a little longer than I was allowing.
The fact that Jesus addresses this issue in his teaching sank into my heart this morning when I read this passage as part of my devotions. Jesus knew the disciples were human and thus were prone to worrying. That we do not control everything can cause us to worry that no one is taking care of our problem or issue. Then, when it seems to be taking too long, we start to worry instead of addressing the work that is there for us to do. Worrying redirects our thoughts inward and thus we miss sharing the love of God outward.
So, I am asking you to do one thing for yourself and one thing for God: Stop worrying. Yes, that will benefit both you and God at the same time. If we can set aside our worries, we will discover that God is already at work on the issue. Allowing God to handle it will mean that it will be handled in the best possible way and achieve the best possible result. And we get to go on about the business of sharing the gift of God’s loving presence with everyone we encounter. And that is one thing no one should ever have to worry about.
Peace and hope,
Pastor Braxton ><>