By Melissa McLaughlin
The Anxieties of Life
With each passing day, it seems the weight of this world grows heavier. Turmoil and division on every side. The cost of living rising steadily. Empty shelves and help wanted signs. Concerns for health with varying and opposing viewpoints. Media, culture and entertainment in outright opposition to God’s Word. Governments daily marching onward toward end times Bible prophecies we thought would be for another generation.
And yet here we are. Living and breathing, walking and talking, experiencing another day of life from the Creator of all life.
As believers in Jesus Christ, how do we live at such a time as this?
By keeping our eyes on Jesus. Seeking and listening to Him.
Find the Savior anew through the truth of His Word and the guidance of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
What does Jesus say about worry?
How does Jesus teach us to face the worries of life? Let’s read His words here in Matthew 6:25-34 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, 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.
What does Jesus teach about anxiety?
Look at the birds.
Consider the lilies.
So simple and yet so profound.
Look at the Birds
Recently I observed a lively robin flitting around our backyard. The sprightly robin scouted for worms, poked the earth and enjoyed a quick lunch. With a few sweeps of its tiny wings, it sailed away without a care.
We have another little fellow who graces our home from time to time. Who knew a vole could be so cute? This petite little guy is not much bigger than my thumb. Miraculously he survived the winter and popped his teeny head up near our trash cans for a visit this spring.
I was taken by the thought that these creatures are so small, so fragile, so helpless, surely they are not powerful enough to survive on their own in this world. Still, here they are year after year, enjoying the life God has given them. Singing, eating, resting, building, doing what God made them to do.
Consider the Lilies
Then there are the flowers. Oh, the flowers!
Anyone who knows me, knows I love flowers! The beauty, tenderness, symmetry, colors, textures, complexity, pattern and glory. I could lose myself in the life of a flower.
To think, they sprout from a seed, bulb or root. Unseemly and coarse.
Despite the humble beginnings, God has woven into the flower’s DNA all that is needed to grow, bloom and reproduce. Though some seasons may be difficult, every year the flowers come.
God cares for each detail of the flower. These artistic treasures radiate a glory that far exceeds anything we are able to sew, paint or design. We gather these magnificent living masterpieces into bouquets to brighten our table. Outshining the most famous paintings, the flowers live but a few days and then are tossed away into the trash or wilt into the earth.
Look and Consider
If God cares so deeply for the fleeting life of the lilies, how much more does He care for us?
The birds, the woodland creatures, the flowers – insignificant, overlooked, lacking in power, dependent on God for life and breath to flourish. But flourish they do!
If God provides food and shelter for the birds, voles and animals of this world, won’t He provide for us?
May we lay our burdens at the foot of the cross. On the cross, our greatest needs have been met. For there we find true justice, true righteousness, complete forgiveness and the everlasting love of Christ.
We are rescued from hell, cleansed of our sin and reset in a right relationship with the God who created us, loves us and died so we could dwell with Him forever.
Jesus’ Love is Bigger
Jesus taught about anxiety and worry because He knew we would face things that are bigger than us.
Jesus provided a new perspective, by instructing us to refocus our thoughts and emotions away from our worries and instead remember the ways God cares for the little things.
Rest your weary soul against His strong shoulders. Collapse into the everlasting arms of love. Release your worries and anxieties, for He already knows and He has gone before us to prepare the way. Jesus is the way. He is our way home.
Consider the Lilies
When we reach that heavenly home up ahead, just imagine the lilies!
Luke 12:32-34 – Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
John 14:25-27 – These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Jeremiah 31:3 – I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Psalm 16:5-6 – The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.