Therefore 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? – Matthew 6:25-27
It is easy to worry. The “what if’s” come one after the other when we are facing difficult situations and we find ourselves in a hypothetical hysteria. We have allowed our worries to lead us into a world that doesn’t exist and probably won’t. There is one who knows the future and holds it in His hands, but He is gentle with those who think they can hold it in their own hands.
Fret, worry, anxiety, fear… these are prison guards of a bounded life, dictated by worst case scenarios, armed with self-pity and doubt. They maintain order through intimidation and manipulation, keeping their prisoners so focused on what might be lurking in their cell that they cannot see the way out. The irony of this prison is that we are our own warden. We can dismiss these cruel guards at anytime if we would only trust in the one who casts out all fear.
This is exactly what Jesus is asking us to leave behind. He wants us to live with the truth that tomorrow is in the hands of its author and fully engage the life He has given us today. By no means is this an excuse to be lazy, waiting for our needs to fall from the sky. Instead it is an attitude adjustment. We plan, we organize, we prepare, we work, but always understanding that whatever we need must be found in Him, even if our plans fail, our organization crumbles and our preparations fall short.
There is no question in scripture that we live in an imperfect and painful world; that we will have trouble in this life. Christ is clear here that by accepting that our worrying cannot change the world, we free ourselves to live fully trusting that God can meet us each day with what we need in the moment. If the cares of this world our pounding on your door, keep living the life God desires of you. When we worry our eyes are on ourselves and what we lack. When we trust God our eyes are on Him and He lacks nothing.