Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Take No Thought

I've been watching The Jesus Storybook Bible DVD with my son and another little boy on Wednesday nights at church. Tonight something the storyteller said about the passage in Matthew 6 concerning worry struck me in a way it never has before. He said that the flowers and other aspects of creation do it right. They do not worry about being clothed or fed, because they are protected by God. The passage says that if God cares for these, then how much more does He care for us? I've heard this passage on worry numerous times, but as I thought about it in the way that this storyteller said it, it made me realize that humans are the only part of creation that seems to worry and seemingly whither away because of it. Yes, animals do get anxious at times when treated poorly, and plants die if they are not cared for by us, but they do not wear out from worry. We can.

If you are reading this, you may be going through a difficult time. You might know someone who is, or you may just want to understand those who are. Whoever you are, you have probably dealt with worry.

Everyone handles worry in different ways. Some might go to the refrigerator for relief. Some go to the gym. Some people might choose to go to addictions, others might choose to just go to bed.

When God created us in the beginning, we were perfect. Everything was perfect. Nothing died, and there was no need for worry. After sin came into the world, everything started dying. Animals die, plants die, and people die, but when this happens is ultimately up to God. We are held in His hands. The plants know this, animals have this instinct, but humans worry.

Humans are beautiful creatures, because we are created by God just like the flowers, the trees, the animals, and the seas. Worry takes its toll on us. It give us lines in our face that do not form smiles. It gives us any number of medical conditions both physical and mental. All of this because we do not allow ourselves to just surrender to God's plan like the rest of God's creation does.

This is something that has always been a struggle for me. There was one year where it seemed like I had victory over it. As I look back on that year, there are certain things for which I can attribute this change. It was a year of college where I learned about a couple of attributes of God that I had never known completely. The attribute was God's sovereignty and God's grace. I knew of God's grace based on Ephesians 2 and salvation, but that school year, I learned about God's grace and sovereignty in a new way. A room mate that I had really taught me this. She talked about God's grace, and although I don't remember everything she said, it impacted me. God's sovereignty was probably the most significant attribute of God that impacted me toward a worry-free life. God's sovereignty means that He's in control, which really leaves no room for worry. That year I was in the Word of God as well as other good Christian books. That summer I worked at a Christian camp where I loved life, and had some of the best times of my life. My worry mindset had greatly diminished. That summer I came across the prayer that Jabez prayed. I prayed it often to the Lord. I did not pray this prayer because I believed it was magical, because I do not think I had even heard of the book called the Prayer of Jabez when I initially came across it. This is a prayer of dependence and deliverance.

There were so many things that year that probably led to a worry-free year. It is hard to know what exactly helped the most, but it seems that being immersed in a focus on the Lord was significant.

It is sad to look back on that year and see that I have not had another one like it.

Yes, this past year was a difficult one. There have been other trials too, but living a worry-free life is ultimately a choice. It is a choice to cast your cares on the Lord. It is a choice to set your mind on the truth of His sovereignty. It is a choice to accept everthing that happens as a part of His ultimate plan to make me into the Christian He wants me to be.

Mat 6:25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Mat 6:27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Mat 6:28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30Wherefore, 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?
Mat 6:31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

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