I’ve been learning a lot about worry lately. We all go through times in our life when we worry. And it makes sense … there’s so much to worry about in life.
Every day I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about how I’ll feed my family. I never have to worry about where I’ll sleep at night. And yet, I still can’t shake the way I feel every time I watch my toddler get close to the edge of the deck. My mind races with worry … Oh sweet girl … please be careful. Don’t fall – you’ll break a bone!
I can’t shake the worry I feel when I think about the small group ministry I’ve been working on. The leaders will be devastated if no one signs up. Small groups are essential for the kind of community we want to become. How can we possibly move forward with this ministry without effective small groups?
Or the worry that comes to mind when I look at my looming to-do list. Mounds of work to be done – all with the same “end of summer” deadline. End of summer is just weeks away. How will I possibly get it all done?
I remind myself – over and over – to let it go. I physically open my hands, asking God to take my worry and place trust in its place. I think of a passage I’ve heard over and over again.
Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:
The irony in all of this? In all these things I’m worried about … every single one of them … I’m trying to seek God’s kingdom above all else. Seeking God’s kingdom in the life of my daughter – raising a child who knows she is loved by God and desires to share that truth with the rest of the world. Seeking God’s kingdom in the work of a ministry that is near and dear to my heart. Seeking God’s kingdom in the ever-looming deadlines that will help people know about the work God is doing in that ministry.
It gets me thinking … that maybe seeking God’s kingdom is less about how we do life & ministry and more about how we call on God every single step of the way.
We all worry. We always will. But what if – every time we felt a sliver of worry – we remembered this passage? What if, when we remembered it, we lightened up on ourselves just a little? Took a moment to see birds in the sky and lilies in the field? Gave ourselves the freedom to see the beauty of God in that very moment – and to trust that God would take care of the moments to come?
I have a hunch that, in that moment, we might see a glimpse of God’s kingdom. And when we see that glimpse, we may discover our worry has disappeared.
What are you worrying about these days?