Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What If

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life...O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25a,30b-34, ESV)

Worry is a common threat to our everyday wellbeing. Short term, it robs us of enjoying anything in the present. Long term, it can literally eat a hole in your stomach or even cause a heart attack or stroke. Not many days go by that we do not worry about something. Jesus knew this was an issue for us, so he addressed it.

In Matthew's record of Jesus' thoughts on worry, Jesus mentions specific things we worry about. He mentions things like food, water, and clothing. He doesn't mention things we would simply like to have. He focuses on physical needs, and Jesus acknowledges that God knows we need those things. He knows we need other things as well, such as acceptance, love, and security. I can assume, anytime I worry, I have called into question God's intention to meet a need that I have. I may have to dig a little bit into my thoughts to figure out which one (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Our lack of trusting Him to provide for our needs leads to us trying to figure out how to meet them ourselves, which is why Jesus lovingly points to the faith issue in Matthew 6:30. Worrying never gets us what we need. I have heard someone say it's like a rocking chair: no matter how hard you work, it gets you no where. Even if we could answer all the "what if's" (which is primarily what worry is all about), it still costs way more than it's worth. God wants us to know the real issue behind it all. He wants us to know it all comes back to our relationship with Him.

Beyond knowing that God says He will meet our needs, we must experience the kind of love He has for us to trust that He will keep His word. When you believe wholeheartedly that someone loves you unconditionally, you trust their motives. You also trust that what they say, they have every intention of following through on. And when it comes to God, He has everything at His disposal to make sure His children have exactly what we need when we need it.

1 comment:

Emily Hefner said...

Thanks for this blog, Neil. The longer they are, the better I like them. I never noticed until I read this that it was not JESUS Who knows what things we need but THE FATHER! Thanks so much for posting this blog. God opens my eyes everyday to new things in His Word that I have read 100 times or more.