I’m going to have a conversation with Jesus this morning. Someone is going to help me with this as he reads the words of Jesus from Scripture for this conversation.
Matthew 6: 25a
25 “…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Do not worry. You’ve got to be kidding. How do we not worry? There are so many things to worry about. You seem out of touch with our time when we have so much to worry about.
You say not to worry about food and clothing, but these are very real concerns for many in our world, even our nation, even Middletown. People don’t know when they’ll get their next meal. They worry about their kids going to bed hungry. They don’t know when they’ll get a new outfit to replace their threadbare shirt and pants or new shoes to replace their pair with holes worn in the soles. How do we tell people who are starving or living on the streets, “Don’t worry”?
Even those of us with a home and some regular income worry about food and clothing. We worry about how to stretch a paycheck to cover all our expenses, how to afford our medicine and doctor bills, how to buy school clothes for the kids who seem to grow like weeds and outgrow things too quickly.
Food and clothing doesn’t begin to cover all the things we worry about. Do you not know about our 21st Century First World problems? Who’s going to pick up the kids from school and take them to soccer practice? How am I going to pay for the new roof to replace the 20 year old roof that may not make it another winter? What am I going to do if my company closes or downsizes?
Matthew 6: 25b – 26
“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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?”
Yes, the birds are beautiful and they eat well because we put bird feeders out.
Squirrels know the value of storing up food for the winter; otherwise, they have to eat window blinds and doors.
I do imagine we are more important than the birds and the squirrels, but…
Matthew 6: 27
“27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?”
No, probably not. In fact, the stress is taking hours away from my life. Stress is why we all have heart disease. We’ve got headaches and depression, difficulty managing our weight and ulcers. We lay awake at night worrying. Worrying is definitely taking away hours of our sleep. I just can’t seem to turn my mind off from this and that that needs done.
Matthew 6: 28 – 30
28 “… why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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—you of little faith?”
Why are you stuck on clothing? If I’m not worried about what to wear, I might not be dressed properly. I can’t exactly wear coconut shells or fig leaves to work.
And, Solomon had tons of money, of course he was dressed well.
I have a feeling that this clothing thing isn’t about me having Aeropostale jeans and a sweater from Gap.
Matthew 6: 31 – 32
31 …do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
So, it’s okay for other people to worry about clothes and food, but we’re not supposed to worry about clothes and food. Are we worrying about the wrong things?
Matthew 6: 33
33 … seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Okay. I think I’m starting to get this. If I’m worried about God and the things of God, then I won’t worry about this other stuff. I need to get my priorities in order. God, family, then the other stuff. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4. He said:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
So, if I understand you and the Apostle Paul, I need to start focusing on God and the kingdom of God values and all the other stuff will fall into place.
Matthew 6: 34
34 … do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I’ve heard people say, “Don’t go borrowing tomorrow’s troubles.” It sounds nice. I just don’t know if I can do it. It seems easy, but I know tonight I’m going to lay awake worrying about something. Well, maybe not this week, ‘cuz I’ll be tired after being with the kids all day at camp, but, when I get home, I’ll probably pick up those things I’ve been worrying about and mull them over a few times every day until nothing comes of it.
Ya know. It just dawned on me that half the stuff I worry about doesn’t really end up being anything worth all my worry. I make a mountain out of a mole hill and lose sleep and hair over what amounts to nothing.
Matthew 6: 25a
25 “…do not worry about your life…
No need to start over with the lesson. I’m just going to need some reminders that worrying isn’t going to fix it. I’ll pray about it, trust it to you and go on with the day. I’ll worry about being admirable, noble, righteous and kind which will be easier if I’m not grumpy from lying awake at night worrying.
I’ll try to do as you command – Do not worry!