Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If my mother were here she’d confess she did her best not to worry, especially about us kids. And I admit that perhaps for the most part her kind of worry about us was the kind that kept her motherly smothering active enough to raise us fairly well. And for that I am forever grateful. She’d also admit that there were times when she would “go overboard” and as we used to say, “worry herself sick” over things over which she had no control and the worry did her less than good.

Now haven’t we all been there? It became almost a joke between Mom and I, that when she’d begin worrying unduly about something, I’d say to her, “Mom, don’t worry! Now, you can be concerned!” It came to the point that when she began such in my presence, she’d catch my eye and quickly state, “I know, I know, don’t worry, just be concerned!” It did seem to break down the “worry wall” for a time, at least.

Today, with the pressure of our present economic crisis creating more tension, as people lose their jobs, homes, savings and investments, not to speak of the increasing violence at home and abroad, worry becomes harder to avoid and “just be concerned” seems too passive to be realistic in the minds of the masses. I must say that my advice regarding such was not intended as a passive “do nothing” response to any crisis upon which the mind landed. I do believe in being “pro-active” with a well-anchored trust in my God Who knows, cares, protects and directs my path through whatever “valley I must walk”. I find Him walking with me a very reassuring journey.
Matthew records some very important words of our Lord as He spoke to His disciples about the matter of worry. “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 important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in 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? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed 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 fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

This passage addresses all of the basic needs of life, about which we often consume ourselves to the point that trusting the all-sufficient and loving God is given only left-over consideration. Thus the challenge to seek first His kingdom purpose and His righteousness is placed at the bottom of our life’s daily agenda, and if time allows, we’ll acknowledge it, then pick “our burdens back up again” and “worry-on down the road.”

Perhaps the problem is that “it is easier to say ‘don’t worry’ than to put it into practice. Or perhaps the real problem is that we do not know what it means “to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”.

How shall I explain it? One Christian group says that man's chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The prophet Micah sums it up when he says, "And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8) And if we take the law given by God to His people of the Old Testament, and brought to New Testament fulfillment in the words of Jesus, we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind…and our neighbor as we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39)

But how do you do that? Begin to mentally acknowledge His presence with you moment by moment, not as an inactive “force” but a Person Who’s character and will you assimilate into your own thought and actions. Like a friend in whom you confide and from whom you take guidance, temper your actions with His counsel and credit Him with the blessings.

Truly love Him with all you are and seek to do what will only honor Him and be in accord with His standard of rightness. Loving your fellow man as yourself and more fits that godly character. Do this and though the storm may rage about you, inner peace will be yours because you have trusted yourself to Him Who is the Prince of Peace.

How then can I worry when He Who leads me is in control of everything else?

Ah, friends, be encouraged today in everything.


Jo said...

Hmmm. This post was timely. (I'm sure you know what I mean.)

Thanks for the reminder, Bro.

Love ya,

Mich said...

Thanks dad...I needed to har that today! :)
I gigled when I first started reading because I could hear Nanny fussing and rolling her eyes about you getting on to her for worrying... "Now Jim..."

Love ya!

Mich said...

I guess you know that in Michele language that the word "har" really means "hear.?"

I guess since I was thinking about Nanny, I decided to let the country girl twang come out... :)

Amber said...

Glad that you are back on the bloggy wagon...been missing you around these parts. This is my main form of communication these you can't leave me hangin'!

I'm with Mich...I can totally hear you and Nanny fussing at eachother.

Love you guys.