“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30
Research suggests you will spend one hour and 50 minutes today worrying. That’s almost 13 hours a week, or a total of nearly five years of your life, worrying. A recent survey found 84% of people lose sleep because of worry. Another study from Bensinger, DuPont and Associates found 44% of males and 49% of females have difficulty concentrating because of personal problems and stress.
Psychologists talk about a common ailment called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Unlike a phobia, where you fear is connected to a specific thing or situation, people with GAD have general feeling of dread or unease that colors their entire lives. They never relax. Normal life is difficult. Those with GAD can’t turn off anxious thoughts.
Do you ever have an issue at work, and begin thinking, “I’m going to be fired at any moment!” Or do you make a phone call, and when the other party doesn’t answer you begin wondering if something bad has happened to them? Or someone you know just doesn’t talk with you when they pass you in the store, and your mind stirs through all of the issues that could be wrong in your relationship? You’re not alone. These are common thoughts and worries that occupy the minds of many.
In Matthew 6, Jesus addresses this kind of worry. In verse 25, and again in verse 31, and finally in verse 34, He says, “Do not worry.” Jesus isn’t talking about the past, because our worries are always in the present and future. We worry about today and about tomorrow. Jesus says to keep our mind on today, “for tomorrow will worry about itself” (verse 34). If we keep our mind on today, it will minimize our worry and maximize our potential.
To illustrate this, Jesus talks about the birds and the flowers (Matthew 6:28-30). Have you ever seen a worry-bird? How about an anxiety-flower? The reality is, all of God’s miraculous nature that surrounds us is not worried at all. Jesus tells us when we worry to look around us and see how God’s creation speaks to His glory and splendor, and shows us God’s provision in each moment. The wind blows, the sun rises and sets, the clouds and rain come and go. None of these things are anxious or scared or worried about what will happen. And neither should we.
God, thank You for the gift of today. Thank You for Your creation, which shows me by example that there is no need to worry about tomorrow. Right now, today, you are providing for Your creation, just like You are providing for me. Help me to trust You today, and look to my tasks and responsibilities for today, and let tomorrow take care of itself. May I live today for You in the best way that I can. In Jesus’ name, Amen.