For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, what you will eat, and not for your body, what you will wear. Is your life not more than food and your body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky, that they do not sow or reap or gather produce unto barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are? And who among you, by being anxious, is able to add one hour to his life span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe the lilies of the field, how they grow: they do not toil or spin, but I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. But if God dresses the grass of the field in this way, although it is here today and tomorrow is thrown in to the oven, will he not do so much more for you, you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What will we eat? Or What will we drink? Or What will we wear?” For the pagans seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father know that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom of righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6: 19-34
I would so encourage you to take a moment and read those words out loud to yourself. Let the truth of those words wash over you and soak it in.
A few weeks ago I read this passage out loud to a group I was leading and I was so convicted! I’d literally spent the last week fretting and worrying about provisions. There were several large things in my life that were suddenly in upheaval and uncertain. I went back and forth between being anxious and moping over my circumstances. Neither of these things accomplishes anything, in fact, as Newt Scamanader says “Worrying is suffering twice for the same thing.” I have referenced this before, but it has stuck with me and bears repeating, because I have not yet learned my lesson. It’s a process, just like all the things worthwhile in life.
As I have camped on these verses, the Lord has continued to work on this issue of worry that has so plagued me. He has lovingly brought revelation and shined light in the shadows where my worry has lurked. I realize now that my level of worry is directly linked to the level of control that I am seeking to maintain. A mentor told me that I was trying to do everything in my own power and that though I was managing it (barely) it was really heavy and not something I needed to be carrying. I try and maintain this façade of control that for some reason I keep thinking I have. The truth is, I really can’t control anything. But I keep trying, because apparently I’m no quitter. (*rolls eyes at self)
As I prayed through these revelations, the Lord gave me a beautiful picture of Him telling me to jump on His back and we ran across the FINISH LINE. It was such a great image of me carrying all my crap and Him carrying both of us. To me, that was both encouraging and convicting. Convicting because it is just plain rude of me to ask myself to carry all of that and strain my emotional, physical, and mental well-being. It was encouraging because Jesus was willing to meet me right where I am and carry all of it with no problem. He was not phased. So grateful for those broad Carpenter’s shoulders!
This is all very new information for me, and will take me time to process through. My action items for this week? To be kinder to myself and not require so much. I am learning to have realistic expectations for others, it is time that I learn to have them for myself too. I am going to ask the Lord for continual grace as I release control; to pray that He will fill me with faith and that He will help me to trust that His Word is true, and He will provide. He is Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider and if He cares for the birds of the field, He cares for us too.
If you’re a bird, I’m a bird and He is going to provide for both of us.