“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 food, and the body 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 to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25–34, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Five hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” It turns out that 85 percent of what subjects worried about never happened, and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning. (Don Joseph Goewey).
If these statistics are valid, then obviously worrying is extremely effective in preventing “terrible misfortune” from ever materializing, right? Of course, not! My dad used to say (usually to my mom) that worry was “borrowing trouble.” Or as Michel de Montaigne might say, “borrowing terrible misfortune.” Taking on a debt that you might not have to pay in the first place. So, why agree to the debt that might never be owed before it is owed? When you put it that way, sounds pretty foolish doesn’t it?
That’s what Jesus says in the above text. “Do not worry…tomorrow will worry about itself.” Or as Don Joseph Goewey states, people will likely discover “either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.”
My Advice – To God, we are indeed “much more valuable” than the lesser creatures that He feeds and dresses. If real misfortune comes, and usually it is imagined misfortune, His grace will be sufficient in enabling us to handle the difficulty or in teaching a valuable life lesson. So, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV 1984). Therefore, when it comes to “anything” (real or imagined), let’s trade in our anxiety for peace.
Thanks to my good friend Dale Johnson for inspiring this blog.