We have now spent quite a number of weeks looking at all different aspects of worry and anxiety. Today I am going to wrap up this subject with an overview of what Jesus has been saying in these few verses and then finish with some personal reflections.
In these 9 verses (Matthew 25-34) Jesus has been showing the utter futility, for the believer, in worrying. Worrying cannot do you any good. Firstly, it’s not going to add any length to your life or improve it in any way. Secondly, look around you! See how God provides for and feeds the birds and clothes the flowers of the field. Thirdly consider that God is your loving heavenly father who loves you and wants to provide for you. You are far more precious than birds of the air or flowers in the field, so of course He will look after you! Conclusion; worrying is not just pointless it is counter-productive and demonstrates a distinct lack of faith!
When you look at these arguments, in the cold light of day, they make perfect sense. So why do we still worry?
I’m reminded of the story of Peter in Matthew 14:22-33. All the time he had his eyes and trust on Jesus he was able to miraculously walk on water, but as soon as he looked at the wind and the waves and the circumstances, he started to sink. I am convinced that is the same as our worry and anxiety. We have taken our eyes off God and started looking at all the circumstances. The answer of course is to spend more time with God; to read His word, pray, worship and meditate on His goodness.
This series on worry has come at the perfect time for me. I have just changed career and have started driving buses for a living. Before this summer I had never driven anything bigger than a small van and now I am driving double-deckers down some very narrow roads. The temptation to worry and be anxious has been huge. I can’t say it has been easy and I have certainly had my moments where I have lost some sleep and found it really difficult. But God has been so good and helped me as I have leaned into Him. I have had to constantly hand over my concerns to Him and press in through prayer, but He has been so faithful.
If you are finding life difficult, with worries and concerns besetting you, let me encourage you to draw near to God. He really is the only answer.
I’m just going to end with a few quotes which I found quite thought provoking:
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
(Leo F. Buscaglia)
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” (Erma Bombeck)
“Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.” (Philip Gulley)
“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient.” (Hudson Taylor)
And finally from the straight speaking John Stott
“To become preoccupied with material things in such a way that they engross our attention, absorb our energy, and burden us with anxiety is incompatible with both Christian faith and common sense. It is distrustful of our heavenly Father and it is frankly stupid.”