I’m embarking on a new leg of my journey with lupus, after learning that one of the medications I’ve been taking for a long while is causing damage to my retinas. The next year will be, to say the least, very telling. The effects may or may not be reversible. The disease may or may not flare badly…Answers will all take time. But right now, I find myself musing on the concept of worrying. Or, rather, how will I paint the coming months? With fearful colors, or softer, less dire ones?
This morning, I turned to Scripture, thumbing through Matthew and pausing at Matthew 6:25-33. In these few sentences is beautiful, uplifting assurance, such as : “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown in the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith. So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’…Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
Yes, God knows what we need, what I need, what you need. All the time. Day or night. So, worry should be farthest from mind and heart. But, worry is one of those emotions that is also very, very human. And, as it is human, it is natural, an outgrowth of facing the unknown, especially the unknown that can be fraught with difficulty or pain. What, then, do we do with this worry that risees up, quite naturally, from the human condition?
Fortunately, Jesus gives guidance here, offering a way to get out from under worry. (Matthew 6:33-34): “But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.”
How hard it is in today’s world to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow! We are surrounded by calendars, reminders, forecasts, and prognostications. We mark the passage of time, not by the minute, but by milestones that we anticipate, looking forever forward and oh, so often, forgetting the ground on which we stand now, and the specific task at hand.
The passages from Matthew’s gospel give us a very potent and practical guideline for identifying worry and substituting it for a focus on God, on the Kingdom of God, and on today. Today, prayer is within our capability. Today, trust in God. Today, look to the many blessings we’re given. Today, build spirit and strength so that, no matter what tomorrow brings, we’ll be even more filled with courage and God’s light than before, and moreover, we will have conquered worry!
Blessings for the day,