Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Luke 12:25-26 NLT
One of the things that COVID19 has exposed is the realizations that we are not in control of life and death.With sadness we think of some close family or friends who have died during this last year. With gratitude we reflect on those who have had the virus and lived. With puzzlement we can’t discern why some are slightly affected and others are devastated.
Jesus’ words in Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount are still relevant today. It is helpful to understand the root meaning of the word “worry”. At its core, merimnōn (worry) means to be pulled apart, distracted, focused on the parts instead of the whole, going in opposite directions. From this type of mental activity we get the words worry and anxious. The list of things (all of the parts) that could go wrong become overwhelming to think about which produces the anxiety.
We are not all the same. To be sure, there are some that are easily prone to worry while others are never encumbered by worry. But we can all learn a little something about worry from Jesus’ words.
We can redirect our thoughts back to the whole. If Jesus tells us to not worry, then it is possible to change our anxious thoughts. The first redirection starts by focusing on the biggest picture which is “God is a good Father who is in control of what is best for us.”
Listen to Jesus’ concluding points, And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:29-21.
We serve a Father who knows everything we need, down to what we will eat and drink. We love a Father who cares about the birds and we are more important than they. We adore a Father who dresses the world with the beautiful flowers of nature and He cares about our having sufficient clothing for us.
He is not detached from the concerns that consume us, although His conclusions about our situations are usually not the same as ours. He is never fretful, nor stumped about what will happen next. He is faithful to keep that which He has promised. Even though His ways are not like ours, and His thoughts are not like ours, His ways are good and just. He will keep in perfect peace those who mind is stayed on thee.
The confession of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is relevant for us. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18 Their devotion toward God was not dictated by the outcome of their trial.
We pray, believe and ask God for the best outcome. After trusting in God as our good Father, we direct our thoughts to the best outcome. But if the situation changes, we still lean into God. This is not whatever will be, will be philosophy. This is focusing our thoughts toward the author and the finisher of our faith. He rewards those who seek Him with His abiding presence.
We trust God daily and try to keep in step with the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am where I need to be today if I am following His guidance. I can find the peace necessary, knowing I am doing the next thing that He asks of me.
On this Fear Not Friday may you gain the peace necessary to remove all of the distracting thoughts causing your anxiousness. May you experience the love of the Father to enlighten your understanding of the height, depth and width of the love of Jesus toward you. May His sacrificial death speak to you of the extent that He took to secure your salvation. May the shalom peace of God settle over your troubled heart.
Blessings Love y’all