What? Me Worry? – Part 1

Do they look worried?

Introduction: We are in crazy, stressful times, aren’t we? There’s a virus running rampant causing us to change the way we shop, eat, vacation, and even relax with friends and family. This virus governs our jobs – or if we even still have one – our paying the rent or mortgage or insurance or car payments or gas or . . . you get the idea. There are people calling loudly for change in how our society treats people. There are concerns from almost everyone about government, corporations and – well, just how we get along with each other. Are you worried?

What are you worried about? Your finances? Your marriage, family or relationships? Your health? Loved ones in the Armed Forces? Perhaps a family member just driving home from work or school at night?

There was a time when I was without a job for ten months – even with two Master’s degrees. My job was to send out job applications, and I could get one out about every day as I looked for a pastorate or a social work position. I was married (still am, by the way) with three children. It was a difficult time. What can you do?

Let’s turn to the Bible to see what it says about WORRY in Matthew 6: 25-34. I’ll be using the New International Version (NIV) for my scripture readings.

I. [Look at vv. 25-26.] Jesus starts right out with “Do not worry.” How can he say that? [This is a part of The Sermon on the Mount that started in Matthew 5: 3. His audience was either the crowds following him who were hungering after spiritual teachings (they sure weren’t getting eternal truths from the religious leaders of the day) or it was his disciples (his “learners”). The language is unclear in Matthew 5: 1-2, but the spiritual truths Jesus taught were valid regardless of the audience.]

Regardless, Jesus’ confidence in proclaiming this statement, “Do not worry,” came about from his understanding of God and his trust in him. If God has given life – which is far more important and difficult to give than food, drink or clothing –will he not also give the lesser gifts to sustain life?   We are God’s children as believers – and don’t you as parents take care of your children’s needs as well as you are able?  Well, God is more than able.

So what about the birds in verse 26? As far as I can tell, birds have no concept of the future.  They just concern themselves with getting food only for the day.  Do you ever see birds look up to see where their next bite is coming from? Do you ever see squirrels looking up in hopes of an acorn or seed falling?

We, of course, are different.  We CAN conceive of the future, that there is a tomorrow, and a next day and a next day and so on.  AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES US WORRY!  WE CAN VISUALIZE THE FUTURE AND WHAT IT POSSIBLY HOLDS – BUT WE STILL CAN DO VERY LITTLE OR NOTHING TO CONTROL IT. 

We can certainly PLAN for it, but we plan for what we expect the future to hold.  We wouldn’t put all our money into stocks, bonds, CD’s and savings if we expected the economy of the US to suddenly go belly up.  How did 2008-2009 work for you? How about 2020?

But there is so much we CAN’T PLAN for although we can PREPARE for it.  Weather, for one. We plan for a picnic on a certain day, but we prepare in case it rains or thunderstorms.  

We need to understand that all our planning is capable of turning upside down quite easily.  And that the only TRUE provision for our needs and for the future is God.

Therefore, we are to learn from the birds.  God will take care of your daily needs.  God showed us his provision when the Hebrews were wandering in the wilderness during the Exodus.  They were hungry, so God provided a substance called Manna.  Each day there was enough on the ground to be harvested for that day only.  But if you as the gatherer felt insecure about the future, you might gather some extra so you will be SURE to have enough for the next day.  What happened?  That extra manna rotted, so the person gathering extra still had to depend on God’s provision for that day.

[v. 27]  Worrying simply doesn’t change what can’t be change.

[read vv. 31-32]  How does Christ make a difference in your life?

If you are a believer or a person of faith: What sets you apart in your life – your hopes, your aspirations, your concerns – that is different than a person who rejects God?  Those without the great and holy God worry about their needs.  How are you different?  What makes you think you’re special?  It’s understandable that non-believers worry about their needs.  They don’t have a heavenly father to take care of them!  But you have a heavenly father.  Where is your faith?  [Mark 8: 14-21]

{Next blog, I will look at a summary of worry and how God can take care of us. And the blog after that, I will look at how to deal with worry. Stay tuned to the next two blogs. And while you’re at it, please leave me a comment in the Contact section. Maybe I’ll just change that title to the Comment section. I would like to hear from you. And please “Like” this if you like it. No, there’s no “Don’t Like” button. “Follow” me so you can keep up with additions to my blog without having to search for it. Yes, it does mean putting in your information, but I won’t misuse that.}

I hope you have a great day! And I’ll post the next segment of the message that I started above on Monday or Tuesday. Stay tuned! – John M

Published by John M

I think differently. Every once in a while, I have an insight or a thought that could be useful to others. My background is over 30 years in church leadership & 30 years in social work with M.Div. and M.S.W. degrees - and yes, I do enjoy retirement. My heart is in teaching. And I try to teach in a way that you don't have to have a degree to understand it. So, join me on this journey we call Life as we explore God, the Bible, the Church and the world around us together. I've been married to my wife for 48 years. We have three grown and married children of whom we are very proud. And they have blessed us with seven grandchildren. We both grew up in Washington State, but we now live in North Carolina with a lot of experience between those two points.

4 thoughts on “What? Me Worry? – Part 1

  1. Thanks for this message. I needed to be reminded of this. Lots I could be worrying about. My daughter’s wedding in two weeks in California. My very close friend was diagnosed with cancer on Wednesday. My 10 year old great niece was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last night. But I know God is in control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tari, for your comment. Stick around as I figure this blog-stuff out and please spread the word to others. The next two installments will be even better, especially the last one. It will help comfort you during the stuff going on with people in your life. – John –

      Like

      1. Thank you, John, for asking. The wedding was yesterday. It was a wonderful day. We are on our way home. When we get home Wednesday, I will make arrangements for us to be tested for Covid. My friend’s cancer is slow growing so no treatment at this time. She will be checked again in April.

        Liked by 1 person

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