Worrying – It’s (Not Even) For the Birds!
Aug 20, 2014 2141
Let me tell you something about me that those who know me know about me… I worry. I worry quite a lot – both big things and little things. It is a big issue for me.
Does that make me a bad Christian? Does it mean I don’t have a relationship with Jesus? Does it mean that I have no faith? Not at all. From where I see it, may faith may be small, but by the grace of God it is there! Do I diminish myself in your eyes by confessing that I am but human? Then I will glorify God even more that His grace may be magnified in me!
From the sound of it, John the Baptist was doing quite a bit of worrying himself while in the dungeon (Matt 11:3). Elijah seems to have been a manic-depressive, yet God took him bodily to heaven! Imagine that! And so the history of how God works with people is the story of how He is glorified through our greatest weakness when we surrender to Him.
Jesus spoke about worrying in the Sermon on the Mount. He said
“[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.… [W]hy do you worry about clothes? …Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matt 6:25,26,28,31,33,34
So now, let’s get some perspective on worrying. To whom did Jesus address these words? You see, we tend to read the Bible through our relatively affluent Western eyes, and we miss the force of Jesus’ words.
Jesus was speaking to the poorest in his society; most of the people listening to the Sermon on the Mount would have been subsistence farmers.
By our standards, they led a thoroughly miserable existence. These were people who were malnourished and succumbed to all kinds of diseases that we take for granted. Their life expectancy was around 34 years for women and 39 years for men. When Jesus tells them, “Do not worry about clothes,” it was because they actually did worry about how they would cover themselves. Clothing was a problem. And what to eat and drink was a far more serious problem. They had many earthly reasons to fear tomorrow.
And Jesus’ advice to them was the same as his advice to us; to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and you will have what you need.
Yes, there are some things you can do to worry less. But even beyond them, I say… let’s get some perspective.
Let’s get a grip – a grip on what really matters, on the most solid and eternal realities. Let’s get a grip on the kingdom and righteousness of God. And let’s just simply accept the rest as a bonus.
Worrying – it’s not even for the birds!