Matthew 6: 25-34
25 "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? 26 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? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But 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? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I have been re-reading the gospels during Lent as well as taking more time out of my day for prayer and meditation so I haven't been blogging as much or interacting as often with my blogging friends. My apologies! I plan on visiting all of your blogs as I have the time, for I certainly enjoy them!
These particular verses in Matthew I have read countless of times but really stood out this time during my journey through chapter six. Perhaps it's because in my personal life my family and I have had our struggles and trials, as I'm sure everyone else does. We all have different things which we can choose to be anxious about and which certainly are real physical and material concerns that press close around our thoughts, threatening our sense of peace.
Through the years I have learned that trials rise up, endure and fall away. I love this particular verse:
27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Sometimes, when life seems it's most difficult I say that verse more than once, assuring myself of its truth! Life can be so difficult but this truth is a jewel to behold that has the potential to shine brightly and if used wisely has the power to dispel our anxiousness! For if we truly accept the fact that anxiety serves no purpose, we find ourselves then having to make a choice. A) Be anxiety's captive or B) Be set free from the power anxiety wishes to have over us.
I know if I am not careful I fall into anxiety's trap and when I do it consumes me. I'm thinking about things in the past that led to the moment I find myself in and worried about how my present condition will effect the future. I am everywhere else other than where I should be: dealing constructively with the situation at hand! And on my knees praying for God's direction and mercy. I lose perspective when anxiety takes hold, that's why it's so essential, from my view, in realizing that anxiety is just an illusion and has no value. It's a futile path to take.
Instead, clinging to God's promises and centering myself in the moment, dealing with life as it comes, seems to me, to bring much more glory to God. It let's God know that I am relying on Him and in the abilities he has blessed me with to get through my trials. It's a more positive approach, for to follow anxiety's path just seems to mean going down a darker and darker road towards ruin.
I think of it this way...If I'm standing on the foundation God has laid out for me, that has been built upon my faith and trust in Him and the waves of life start crashing upon me, if I am so absorbed thinking about the waves that have already come or that might come but not the ones that are actually coming I can easily find myself swept away by the present waves that are crashing down upon me. Instead if I find myself centered in His truths, no matter what waves may come, they just wash over me, perhaps making me cold and wet but failing to sweep me off balance. When we center ourselves in the moment we find ourselves seeing things as they really are and less how we fear them to be. We start seeing reality with a more objective perspective and that can have a great effect in relieving us from some of our anxieties.
To get through trials I've come to learn to lean and depend on God, to have an obedient and childlike faith and trust in Him in each moment. For me this didn't come naturally, for my spirit is oftentimes a very independent one, it took many times of falling into the pit and having God pick me back up out of it to yield to this truth!
I'm reminded of God's people as they fled through Egypt and found themselves in the promised land with Moses and how God provided food for them in the form of Manna falling from the sky. They were not to take an overabundance of the food God provided them each day but to take just what they needed for that day, believing and having faith in God that He would provide for them and their needs the following day. If they did take more than what they needed, God would have that food spoil and be no good for them that next day they planned to eat it. For the hoarding of manna showed lack of faith in trust in their God, the very God that delivered them from slavery in Egypt.
We are all given a choice, to be held captive by anxiety or be set free from anxiety. Which will you choose?
We thank you for this new day you have given us. May it find us all in good health and safe from afflictions. We pray that you release our minds and hearts from all forms of anxiety and fear that bind us to our own illusions. May we instead find freedom in you through the promises you give us in Scripture. You have come, not to harm us but to have us prosper. You love us and have created us as your children. Life is not easy and is full of trials and tribulations, help us turn towards you in faith and trust in our most trying moments and find hope, find restoration and find our burdens lightened by the peace of your presence. Many of us face real physical concerns, may you lift us from our trials so that we may prosper greatly so that we may bring you much glory.
We give you all honor, praise and glory.
In Jesus' name,