Tuesday, October 29: Luke 12 – 13
I used to be a worrier. Maybe I still am and just don’t want to admit it. Maybe I still am and have learned to control it. Either way, I used to be a worrier. Most of us are, or have been, so I don’t feel alone.
I can say, “used to be” because Sunday mornings used to make me sick. Literally. I was so consumed with anxiety and worry that my Sunday morning routine would typically include several trips to ‘pray to the porcelain goddess’ if you know what I mean. I’d eat and it wouldn’t stick. My wife always joked that she was going to get me a “Golden Bucket” to hide in the pulpit, ‘just in case.’ Thankfully it never came to that, usually once I was out the door, I was good. Thankfully, somewhere in the past 5 years, I’ve grown out of that, or I just got confident enough to make it thought the morning without that extra prayer routine. Either way, somewhere in the past few years, I was able to set those worries aside. Although I’d be fooling you if I told you I don’t get nervous. After all, it should be intimating (and a joy) to do God’s work!
As I think of my own nervous tendacies, the fingernails that I used to bite as a kid, and the sleepless nights I still experience as an adult, Jesus’ words speak to me, just as much as they probalby speak to you . . .
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Those are rich, rich words. Simple enough to read. Complex enough to challenge ourselves to “let go and let God.” I recall one of my early sermons, maybe even before seminary that preached on this text. Can’t recall what I said and lost the notes long ago, but I guarantee I was still worried, and “praying to the porcelain goddess.” Could I live my my message? Could I live by Jesus’ words. Well I thought I would try. What I remember most about that particular message was my mother-in-law. She is a worrier without a doubt. She didn’t know how anyone could heed these words. She even challenged me on them with further conversation. Again, don’t remember what I said, but like any son-in-law/mother-in-law relationship, I’m sure it added a bit more tension to our relationship.
In the end, still we live with challenge to set our worries aside. To trust, remember, believe, and know that God has got this, what every your “this” is. God has it completely under control.
So for, all of you worriers out there (me included) . . . let go, and let God!
Reading for the next few days:
Wednesday, October 30: Luke 14 – 16
Thursday, October 31: Luke 17 – 18
Friday, November 1: Luke 19 – 20