Here is the bottom line: do not worry about your life. Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about how you clothe your body. Living is about more than merely eating, and the body is about more than dressing up.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today. Matthew 6: 25,33-34 VOICE
In these verses from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us clearly not to worry. The apostle Paul reiterates this point in his letter to the Philippians when he writes,
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, Philippians 4:6 TPT
And yet despite these clear instructions not to worry……..we do often find ourselves walking the way of worry!
The daily reading, on the day my first child was born, was Matthew 6:25-34. After my husband and I had read the verses and prayed together, he made up a little song about ‘why worry when you can pray?’ It had a catchy tune and I found myself singing it at intervals, throughout the day! It helped me to be calm and at peace.
Worries fall into various categories. Among these are:
- Unlikely worries – about terrible things which are unlikely to happen
- Uncertain worries – about events which have occurred but the outcome is uncertain. (eg waiting for exam results)
- Uncontrollable worries – about things we have no control over (eg tomorrow I will be a day older!)
There are many ways to deal with worries. In 1 Peter 5:7 NLT, we read,
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Richard Foster in his classic book on spiritual disciplines Celebration of Discipline, describes an exercise to help us do this.
Palms Down- Palms Up
- Before you begin this exercise take a moment or two, to sit comfortably with your feet placed on the ground, and allow your hands to rest gently in your lap.
- Become aware of your breathing as you enter into stillness.
- You begin, this exercise, with your palms facing down on your lap and you give each of your current worries, and cares to God.
- When you have let go of these, you then turn your palms up and receive what you need from God for each worry or care.
The Examen is a way of prayerfully reflecting over the events of the day and of looking forward to tomorrow. It is not designed to deal specifically with worries and concerns, focussing more on gratitude and emotions. However this focus does bring about an increased sense of thankfulness and this in turn, can lessen our level of worry. You can read more about The Examen and how to do it here
There is no doubt that over the past year we have experienced change and uncertainty as we have travelled through a global pandemic. To what extent does the verse below ring true for you?
He alone is my safe place; his wraparound presence always protects me. For he is my champion defender; there’s no risk of failure with God. So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me? Psalm 62:2 TPT
- What is God wanting to highlight to you today through this verse?
- How has God met you in times of worry over recent months.