GIVE AWAY, TAKE AWAY
25 “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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? Matthew 6:25-27
I know that we all deal with anxiety and worry from time to time. For some of us it something that we are able to step through and continue along our journey, but for some it is a roadblock that causes them to shut down and even fall apart. Anxiety and worry is not something that any of us should shrug off as someone being too dramatic, but realize that it is a tool that is sewn into our world to cause doubt, confusion, isolation and uncertainty. I remember growing up that I would hear the phrase, "please don't be a worry wart." I honestly have no idea where that came from, but I have watched it weave it's way into the lives of so many. I remember when we first moved away from our family in North Carolina, my grandmother would call every day because she was worried that we were not safe or that we needed something. I remember every time the phone rang and I heard her voice on the other line she would begin with a cluster of questions to make sure that we were safe and sound. But the reality was not that she was worried about us, but that she was anxious about being alone. She had been so accustomed to us being in her life that when we moved, it caused a huge void where doubt and fear began to creep in. She just needed the assurance of hearing our voices so that she could feel safe again.
To be honest, I think that a lot of us live in the same environments. We are terrified to step outside the boundaries of our norms because of the different things we will face. We feel safe and secure in our bubbles, but God is trying to show us that He has already provided for us every step along the way. I blow myself away when I find myself being like my
grandmother around other people. I know that my prayer life has definitely the more people and students bring into my life. For those who first enter into our ministry I begin praying for connection and desire. For those who begin driving, I pray God's hand of protection and willingness to be involved. For those who are graduating, I pray for wisdom and discernment for the next steps of their journey and continued opportunities to connect. I know that God has equipped and gifted me to prepare them for the next steps of their journey but once they have stepped into my life I continue to pray for whatever I can do to help them navigate through the sea of anxiety and worry. So I know that a little piece of my mom and my grandmother has rubbed off on me because of my love and concern for others that truly I pray directs them towards the assurance of God.
I truly love the words that Matthew records of Jesus speaking to the disciples. It truly goes straight to my heart as well. I love it when God's timing is perfect timing for me to hear these encouraging words, and so I hope that they hit you today as well. Jesus is trying to remind the disciples not to worry about what is to come. God is in control of yesterday, today and tomorrow. If God has taken the time to be so intentional for all other parts of His Creation, we should not be surprised that God has a bigger plan for us as well. Many times when we allow doubt and despair to enter into our hearts and minds, we are unable to remember the fact that God is in control. The evils of this world will continue to only see one side of the story in hopes that we will turn away and go back to our old lives. Jesus is letting all that read His Word today that we should not give away the time God has remaining for us over to the worries of this world. We should not allow the anxiety to take away one second of joy that God intends for us to experience during our short life spans. Once again I am not saying that we will not have times of struggle, but I am saying that God has not and will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus continues to say that what good does worrying do? It will not add anything to our lives, but will take away the opportunity that we have to walk in assurance with Christ.
Please hear me today... I wish that I could say that I have it all figured out and that I live a perfect example of no worry. But I don't. I know that with each day, I continue to strive to grow stronger and stronger in my faith and my dependence on God, but there are days that
satan continues to creep in with worry and doubt. I know that the first steps are on my knees, and just like Jesus, I pray that I can take away the hurt and pain of others. I pray that I could be so bold in my faith that I give others the opportunity to strive to do the same, but that is why we are a community. I cannot do that alone, but need others to walk with me and lift me up in the same way that I hope to help lift them up with the flaming arrows come towards us. We are all in this together as we walk each day to battle these types of enemies that directly target both our spiritual and physical bodies, minds and souls. May we build and cheer each other on so that these evil distractions will be thwarted through prayer and accountability. God is in control and we must continue to receive this promise as we step into this spiritual battle together. We cannot afford to give away any more time to the world but take back the time we have been given to press on for Jesus.