Not to Worry
Worry has been elevated to a full-fledged treatable disease in the developed countries of the world. Drugs to counter the effects of anxiety leading to hypertension leading to coronary problems have become a life-support system for some. The drugs try to counteract the negative effects of worry, but it would be better to learn how not to worry.
What are people so worried about? While some of the things we worry about are in the realm of “today”—a child, an illness, a job, a car repair—most of what we worry about concerns “tomorrow”: How will I pay this unexpected bill? I’ve just lost my job—where will I find another? How can I find someone to care for my child while I work? I’m so lonely—how can I find a friend? And then, beyond “tomorrow’s” needs are concerns about “the future”: Will I have money to live on when I can no longer work? Will I have my health? Who will take care of me in the last years of my life? Will anyone miss me when I am gone? What significance will my life have had?
When Jesus addressed the crowds who followed him, he did not disavow the necessity of material things—food and clothing, for instance. Jesus was, and is, a realist. He knows we live in a physical world which requires that we have certain things in order to survive physically. But here’s what Jesus wants us to see: We also live in a spiritual world, a kingdom, ruled by God. Food and clothes are physical things; worry is a spiritual thing. The priority in life is always spiritual first, then physical. Jesus said that when we replace worry with faith (we take care of the spiritual needs first), then God will help us as we address our physical needs—now and in the future.
Corrie ten Boom, who lived a stressful period of life in German prison camps, learned that, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” Gain strength for today by seeking God and his righteousness. A lifetime spent doing that amounts to a lifetime free from worry.
God’s Promise to You: “Seek my kingdom and you will find it—and everything you need as well.”
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