One of the things I have come to realize is that worry is not something that will just go away. As soon as you work through one item on your list of problems, there is always another one to take its place. It’s like a perpetual machine that keeps your mind racing to find a solution. Basically it’s a to-do list that never ends. Yes, the redundancy of what I have just said is clear, but I’m using it to make a point. In college, and even in most High Schools now, we are taught that being redundant is a very bad thing in writing. Yet there is no mention of how being redundant in life is a bad thing. It is not the regular day to day schedule that I am talking about; it is the continuous behavior that gets us nowhere in life. If you know me well you know that I get bored very easily. I am constantly looking for something that will excite me, something new, and something that has to be learned. Of course, if you have been reading anything I have been writing lately you know that every day is a new thing to deal with, a new lesson to learn. So I redundantly say again that worry is an inbox that is always full of things pulling at your attention.
Jesus had a very interesting way of pointing out behavior, and giving a new way for living in His teaching. He has some really good points of living in the Gospel of John. In the midst of this wonderful allusion to Jesus as the good shepherd He gives us this hope. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” That’s an amazing thought. God wants us to have life and have it to the fullest we can possibly have. Moreover there are other verses about that very same thing. Jesus says that worry does not do anything but take away from our lives. He says that God can take care of the birds and the flowers and that he loves us much more that these things. Think about it, the creator of the universe wants to take care of us above all of His creation. It is humbling a humbling thought. Let me give you the quote that really makes this hit home for me.
25 “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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“ 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew6:25-34
These are the recorded words of Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate, the creator of the Universe. These are the words of the one who holds everything in His hands. He is telling me, you and everyone else, not to worry.
Worry is a human condition. We want control, we want to be the ones that have say so in what happens. I know this all too well, and I have already told you what our control brings us. God is holding out His hands saying that we should cast all of our cares straight on Him. He is saying give me your worries and watch what I can do with all of them. That is such a hard thing to do in a normal stable life. It is hard for even the most seasoned Christian to lay all of their cares at the feet of Jesus. I remember the sermons about tithing and giving. So many preachers go to the Old Testament and recall God’s challenge to give to Him just a portion and see how much He gives back in return. He wants to give you a cup running over. He basically says try me on this and see that I prove to hold my promise. I see a challenge in Jesus’ words in Matthew, and in John 10:10.
The challenge is to take the gift that God is offering. That’s the thing about gifts; you have to actually accept them. I can recall Christmases and Birthdays where I have gotten things that have literally gone in the trash. Not that I was ungrateful, or that I was haughty, well maybe that was it, I need to work on that one. But how many gifts have we just cast away because we felt no use for them. I know I have been very guilty of doing that with human gifts, much more with the gifts of God. The great things about the gifts that God is offering cannot be thrown away and then never offered again. He is still standing there, holding out His hands offering a better way.
I need a better way. My way has led me straight into a dead end. I am broke, basically jobless, and I have nowhere to go. That’s not a complaint it’s just the fact of my life at this point in time. I have driven myself down this dead end road and my car is broken down. The world says give up. God says give in and receive my good gifts. The term I want you to see is good gifts. God offers good gifts, life to the fullest extent. There is a new movie coming out called “Limitless” , from the trailers I gather that a man takes a pill and opens the full amount of the power of his brain and thus his potential. It sounds pretty neat. But from what I see the dude throws his life away in culture, in money, and in temporary things. Yes I am judging it before I have seen it, but then again I have been right in these cases before so I am confident in that judgment. The premise actually sounds pretty familiar. A man sees the opportunity for success; he takes it because he wants all the shiny stuff that the world offers. He wants money, and power, and girls, and respect. I think they stole my life and made it into a Hollywood movie. They would have to of course embellish a little bit, but the core is there. At my core I was man who sought after the things the world said were good. In the end I found that they were empty, and led only to my destruction, and the destruction of others. Now comes the worry.
There are bills, there is food to buy, gas to put in the car, and the money is not there. Yet I am told not to worry. I am told to wait on God. That doesn’t make sense! Nowhere in American culture should I be able to wake up in the morning and say that today is going to be a good day because God has made it! But I can do that now. I have cast all of my cares on God. And when I say all of my cares I mean all of them. I am not worried about it. I am not going to spend my energy fretting about what is going to happen. It is not worth it. The joy that I feel when I look at God and say it is in your hand, lead me, is unfathomable to my brain and I love it. Is my life coming out of a crisis? Yes, one of my own making. Am I going to be okay? Yes, because I am in God’s hands. I have found that at worry’s end is the joy of Christ, and the love and provision of God. At worry’s end is peace. Can I tell you how great that is?! I wish there were words to describe it. I challenge you, get to worry’s end today, and get to the feet of Jesus.