It seems that almost every day we hear of something that makes us worry. Whether it is a global phenomenon, national news, local happenings, or family issues, there always seems to be something that causes worry in our lives. It seems like every time I watch the news, log onto a social media website, or even read the local small-town newspaper I find something that racks my nerves. Take for example the recent Ebola outbreaks within the United States. It’s not long, when browsing Facebook that I come across an article describing another patient who has caught this disease. The covering photograph introducing the article is full of doctors and other kinds of professionals completely dressed in hazmat suits caring for a patient who has been almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Whereas these articles may be designed to attract attention, it is still a bothersome circumstance to ponder!
It’s also hard to not worry about the smaller details in our life. Being a college student, I often experience thoughts such as “where did I put that flash drive?” or “how in the world am I going to get these assignments done?” running through my mind. As I am away from my family, I often wonder about their well-being and safety. I find myself worrying if something has happened to them; to be honest, there are times when I get antsy whenever they don’t answer my phone call the first time! There are so many things that could cause us to worry in life; it almost seems to drive us crazy at times. In fact, I know of several cases in which worry has severely crippled the worriers! However, despite the apparent complexity of these troubles, Jesus has a solution to all of it. It can be summed up in two simple words: Trust Him!
When we worry, anxiety is produced in our lives. Worry leads to anxiety; those with experience in anxiety know that it is not a good thing to have. When we worry, we take matters into our own hands and forget that we have a God who is capable of handling the situation much better than we can. We soon figure out that we can’t handle what we’re worrying about; anxiety is then produced. In order to eliminate this anxiety from our lives, we need to trust Christ with our problems; sincerely doing so will take away the burden of worry, and therefore, eliminate our anxiety.
When I was younger, in my early teenage years, I had a very severe worry problem. I worried about everything, whether it was school matters, family affairs, or even the news I heard on the television. This problem became so severe that it ended up crippling my social life (indeed, as mentioned earlier, I am one of those cases in which worrying had damaged an individual). The primary reason to why I was crippled was because my worrying produced anxiety. Because of my worrying, I was constantly anxious. I couldn’t get any enjoyment out of life; I was constantly uptight about something. My parents recognized this and assigned me the task of memorizing Matthew 6:25-34. At the time, I hated memorizing, but I soon discovered that it was one of my favorite passages in scripture because I could relate so easily to it. Matthew 6:25-34 is quoted from the New King James Version in the following paragraph:
“‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, 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 after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”
Matthew 6:25-34 could be thought of as the “worry passage” in the Bible. In my Bible, which comes complete with sub-titles, it is entitled “Do Not Worry.” Indeed, it is a fitting name, for in this text Christ is preaching to His followers about why they should not worry. He sums it up in the first part of verse twenty-five: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.” These four aspects are some of the most important details of our earthly lives (life, food and drink, body, clothes), and Christ commands us not to worry about them. Why does Christ command this? The second half of verse thirty-two states: “For your heavenly father knows that you need all of these things.” Both Jesus and the Heavenly Father know that we need these things; verse 33 tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Believers have nothing to worry about; this verse is telling us that God already know what we need just as a mother knows what her child needs. If we, as believers in Christ, seek to trust in God’s provision for what we need, He will provide those things for us. We must also take note that we are in no way deserving or even know what we need. Only God is capable of providing us with what we need, therefore, while asking for God’s provision is acceptable, we must always recognize that God’s provision is the final say. We are taken care of. God already knows our needs, and often times is just waiting for us to get off of our high horses, to quit trying to control the situation, to humble ourselves and ask Him for our needs to be met!
If God already knows what we need, and has promised to meet these commands if we truly seek him and ask for His assistance, then why do we worry? Worry is futile; it does nothing good for us. What good do we think we are accomplishing when we worry about our lives when Jesus clearly commands us not to? I have come to realize that most of what I worry about I cannot control; I need to leave it in God’s hands. I have no control over the spread of deadly diseases, world hunger, and even the safety of my family; true peace comes with realizing that God has a plan for everything. God controls the spread of diseases, regulates hunger, and will watch over your family members according to His plan. Now, what I can control (the quality of my work, success in school, etc.), I work at it as unto the Lord and leave the results to Him. In a job, work hard and as unto God, and He will see that you are taken care of. In school, study as unto the Lord, and He will see you through those classes. In our relationships, strive to treat everyone as according to how God treats you (biblically), esteeming others better than yourself and striving to bring out the good in everyone, and God will definitely reward those actions. Honor God in all that you do, and He will lift you up.
What we must remember is that God has a plan for our lives. We may not know exactly what it is, but we can find peace and comfort in knowing that God will provide for our needs. The Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need. There is not a thing in our lives that get past our Creator. Trusting God and not worrying is a sign of a mature faith; it is not something that is developed over night. However, once we do decide to trust Christ wholly, in every aspect of our life, we will find a peace that comes only to those who are trusting in Jesus. Trusting Christ and eliminating worry is never easy, but as believers, we will find that it is completely worth it.