Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Do Not Worry

“Who of you by worrying can add a singe hour to his life?” (Matthew 6: 27, NIV 1984).

He was a healthy appearing homeless man whom I saw in the clinic for a spot on his liver that had not progressed over the past year. I asked him about his survival on the street. “It’s actually been good for me. I’ve grown closer to God. I have learned to appreciate life much more than before. It doesn’t take much to please me now. There’s all the food you can eat on the streets if you know where to go. I had a great experience with God a few nights ago. I was sleeping under an underpass and very concerned that I had no place to go. I prayed to God all night, on and off, and I felt Him speak to me. The next morning, I received a phone call and was given a permanent place to stay.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25a, NIV 1984).

In my daily life, I worry. I drift beyond thoughtful concern with my kids, my finances, my patients---I worry. There is a difference between worry and thoughtful concern. The difference in worry and thoughtful concern is fear, fear defined by the words, What if?

What if my son doesn’t find a job?
What if the woman I operated on doesn’t recover?
What if the hospital buys my practice and then steadily reduces my income?

Jesus says, “Don’t worry.”
Jesus says, “Seek my Kingdom first and I will provide.”

Does this mean that the woman I operated on will not die, that my son will get a good job, that my income will quit falling? If that were the meaning of Christ’s statement, the Christian man above would never have been homeless and my daughter would not be bipolar.

I don’t understand all that Jesus is saying in this magnificent sermon. I suppose Jesus is saying that we are incredibly valuable to God and He wishes us to have the clothes and food we need, but that He wishes even more for us. He wishes Himself for us.

As Oswald Chambers put it:
“My goal in life is God himself;
Not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing but himself my God.”

Worry = thoughtful concern plus fear.
The question from fear is, “What if?”
The answer to fear’s question is always God Himself.

Dear God,
Let me let go and fall into your arms. Then do with me what you will for your kingdom.

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