“So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32 (CSB – emphasis mine)
Not only are Jesus’ followers invited to call on God as their heavenly Father in prayer, they are invited to escape the worry and anxiety that plagues the rest of the world. Jesus makes no guarantee that life will be simple and free of pain nor does he say we will get what we want (or think we want). The guarantee is that our Heavenly Father knows what we need, period. In his way and in his time, he will provide for us. Which begs the question, why do we worry? After all, what loving father – especially a perfect one – doesn’t have the best in mind for his children?
I’m a planner. I like to sit down, figure out the best way to do something, and then do it. For some things that works just fine. Especially if it’s something that I know how to do. Planning brings a level of certainty to the situation and it makes me more comfortable. As humans, we are wired for predictability (even if the only thing predictable is that we like the unpredictable). But life isn’t always predictable. There are times where we know we need to so something but we aren’t sure how to do it. We don’t know the best way forward. We aren’t even sure that it will all work out. We just know that we need to do it.
That’s where faith comes into the picture. Faith requires us to take the next step even when we don’t have all the answers. It’s a scary place to be and maybe that’s where God wants us. It means we have no choice but to rely on him.
Confession time: I’m a worrier. No one taught me how to do it. I don’t even remember when it started. I guess something just clicked one day and I started to worry. The truth about worry is that it’s a symptom of something deeper. It’s about control. I like to feel as if I have it and when I don’t, it leads to worry.
I know intellectually that worry is pointless. The only fruit of worry is fear, anxiety, and more worry. It’s a counterproductive cycle. But at times my desire to feel in control of my circumstances drives me to live under the dark clouds of worry. In those moments I fail to recognize that there is another option. Instead of worrying about life’s changing circumstances, I’ve been invited to place my trust in the unchanging care of my Heavenly Father.