Why You Don't Need to Worry
Did you ever consider that when we worry or stress, that it reflects poorly on God? It suggests that perhaps we don’t really believe that there is a God up there who sees us and knows our needs. For non-believers*, it makes sense to choose money, possessions, and the world. Matthew 6:25 says that “the pagans run after all of these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all of these things will be given to you as well.” We are God’s children. Yes, we are going to go through difficult times but He is not going to let us go. God has been demonstrating his sovereignty to His people for thousands of years. This sovereignty became very real to me this past spring when my husband and I experienced some difficult times. Instead of choosing old patterns of anxiety and depression though, I choose to take a chance, to believe in God’s word and instead choose peace.
This passage in Matthew 6:25-34 where God tells His believers “do not worry” comes right after a passage where He calls His follower not to store up treasures in heaven. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Jesus ordered things this way. As believers in Jesus Christ we are just like the rest of the world in that we need to work in order to make money, which we then use in order to provide for ourselves and our families. While this is not wrong (2 Thessalonians 3:10), it becomes a problem when we start to believe that it is really us who provides and not God. That it is up to us to create a safety net for ourselves and that by doing so we are ultimately in control. I think that we’ve all been guilty of this, I know that I certainly have been. However God has shown me that just like Matthew 6:24 says, that I cannot live in fear and that I am not in control. I have to choose. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Jesus makes it clear that in this life we can either put our trust in our possessions or in Him.
It makes sense for non-believers to choose their possessions (the world) because they don’t believe in Him. Pastor Francis Chan explains that: “If you don’t believe in God what else are you going to do with your life? Your going to try to get as much stuff as you can on this earth. Your going to try to have as much fun as you can on this earth. Your going to try to look as good as you can. Do all these things to your face, your body – to try to look young as long as you can, and live as long as you can because that’s all you’ve got” (Chan). While non-believers aren’t all bad – we are all sinners – and many do great things like volunteer and donate to charities; they don’t know a Savior like we do, the ultimate source of peace. Jesus calls us as believers to live radically different lives. People should stop and ask us why we aren’t worried about things like the rest of the world. They should be wondering about where our source of peace and contentment comes from.
We have the hope and the knowledge that our treasures are in Heaven and unlike our earthly money and possessions, they will not fade away (Matthew 6:19-21). When we really believe that we have a Heavenly Father watching over us, one who has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), then we won’t worry anymore. He promises that He’ll provide (Matthew 6:25-27) and hasn’t He? Hasn’t this always been the case? If you look back through the Bible and even through your own life, hasn’t God always come through? We are His children. While I don’t have any of my own yet I can imagine that when I do someday that I am going to do everything within my power to protect them; I’m never going to stop loving them. Yes, there are going to be times when the fall down or when they struggle. Some of those times I’m going to let them. That doesn’t mean that I’m a bad a parent because I’ll be close by watching them and guiding them. These struggles that we encounter are often our greatest times of growth. They build us up and move us forward. The same goes with God and His children. This God that we believe in has demonstrated His sovereignty over His children for thousands of years.
The sovereignty of God has been something that I have read about and seen in my life but experienced in a very real way this past spring when my husband and I experienced some financial struggles. It was about late March when my previous boss announced to us at a staff meeting that we would be closing the business at the beginning of the summer. Two days later my husband received an email which stated that the university where he is getting his PhD from made a mistake and that the grad-students in his department would only be receiving half of what they were normally paid for the next few months. During this time, I also believed that there was a chance that I could be pregnant. It was quite a week. While in the past I would have totally flipped out and have had been ridden with anxiety and depression, I actually saw this string of events as an answered prayer.
You see the day before my boss had announced that we would be closing the store I been in deep discussion and prayer with the Lord. For months now, I had had this fire, this desire in my heart to do something new. To love and serve in a new way. Not that I wasn’t doing this in my current job – the women I worked with were amazing women of God and our store was known as a haven – its just that I felt called to do something else. The problem was that I had no idea what that was! I knew that I wanted to serve and work with people but didn’t know if that meant working at non-profit or volunteering. The thought that I could be carrying a child was thrilling to me and gave me visions of being a stay-at-home mom with a little side business and blog (this). I just had no idea but I knew that I had to do something soon or else I was going to go crazy, so I asked the Lord for a sign. If that week that I experienced was not a sign, I don’t know what is.
And so instead of choosing to become doubtful in the Lord and to rely on myself to pull us through I did my best to trust in Him. I worked to put my worry at the door and to believe that He would come through. And He did. Over and over and over again. In the months to come the business where I had worked at did close, my husband, did receive a pay-cut, and we found out that we were not pregnant**. During that time I also started my own business, invested in Making Room for Peace, volunteer on a regular basis, and I have tithed more than I have ever tithed in my life. I have grown in leaps in bounds in my relationship with my husband and with God; and have developed new friendships that continue to blossom. I can’t begin to list all of the ways in which God has showered me with blessings. This isn’t to say that things were not and still aren't hard. It was really disappointing to learn that I was not pregnant and we have had to tighten our budget in order to make it stretch however this time has been an incredible time of provision. This is how God desires it to be for all of us. When we die to ourselves and make room for peace, we are creating space for God to come in and fill us up.