I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t worry. I am the first one to admit that I worry, too, about everything! Some degree of worry, if you can do something to help the situation, is okay. It makes us take the appropriate action to resolve whatever we are dealing with. But I often ask myself, if there is nothing I can do to affect the outcome of the issue, why do I still worry about it? I think a part of it is my need to stay to in control. So if there’s nothing I can do to affect the outcome of what I am concerned about, worrying at least gives me something to do while I am in this period of uncertainty.
I love the story from Matthew 6:25-33 where Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about anything. So the disciples also worried! I guess they were human after all! What would it be like for all of us if we took Jesus’ words to heart and truly practiced them?
"Therefore I tell you, do 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? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans strive after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself Today has enough trouble of its own."
Jesus tells us to seek God and His righteousness first (what a great alternative to worry!) and trust the fact that God knows of our need and that He is already taking care of it! We may not get the outcome we want or we may not see God working in our situation for a long time yet, but we can rest in the knowledge that He is at work.
But how easy is that to do? Can we so easily let go of control?
I decided that I needed to start practicing Jesus’ words this Lent—to let go of worry. I know how toxic worry can be for me, so every time I start worrying about something, I stop myself and remind myself that I gave up worrying for Lent! It has been very freeing not to have the burden of worry to carry. I feel much lighter and my faith in God is growing because of this practice. If I can lay down my burden of worry at His feet, I will have more time and energy for other things, like enjoying the blessings I already have and being present in the moment rather than thinking about what may happen in the future.
Will you join me?