Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Worry?

I was remembering a Scripture passage that I had memorized many, many years ago as a child, where Jesus was saying not to worry about tomorrow, cause things are bad enough today… Well, that’s not exactly how He said it; that’s my paraphrase or the way I have always remembered that passage.

When I was a kid in Protestant Sunday School, the only translation of the Bible we used was the beautiful, poetic King James Version. So most of the Scriptures that I have memorized and retained over the years play back in my head in the KJV translation.

In Matthew 6: 26 – 34, Jesus is speaking about the fact that to worry is a pointless exercise. He asks “and who by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Here is the passage from the Revised Standard Version:

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’

“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Or in the words of the beautiful King James:

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6: 34

The reason I point out all of this is because I’ve been worrying about a lot of things lately.

I’ve been suffering from the winter blahs and when I’m in an already depressed state, it does seem that I worry more. So I have to remember to ‘offer it up’ to God, to lay my burdens on Him, and especially not to take them back upon myself, once I have given them to the Lord. I’m not particularly good at any of this.

I struggle; I resist the whole idea that I am not capable of managing my own life; that I need God so desperately each and every minute. But the truth is: I do. I need Him to take all the worry and stress away. I need to lay my burden down and not pick it back up. I need to remember this Scripture that I have carried with me in my heart almost all of my life:

“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6: 34

Perhaps you need to remember this too. Have a blessed, worry-free day!


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