Do Not Be Anxious
By Cindy Hoffmann
“Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34
This has been a lifelong lesson for me, and one that I have yet to master! In one breath I can say, “Isn’t that the truth, Lord?” and in my next breath ask, “Lord, how do I not be anxious?” I also resonate with The Message translation that says, “Do not worry or get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.”
My life is consumed by a schedule. I love calendars to keep me up to date on appointments, birthdays, surgeries for friends or family, and vacations. So Lord, how do I not be anxious in the moment or become anxious for tomorrow when prayer requests come daily over my phone with so many needs; not to mention my perceived need to continually anticipate what is coming.
God has blessed me (us) with a very large family. With these many blessings come many responsibilities to pray for each member of our family, love each one unconditionally, and trust God for the outcomes of situations that cause my heart to want to worry. I have one situation in my life right now that, if I look down the road past tomorrow (Jesus only says not to be anxious for tomorrow), I truly have no idea how this situation is going to work itself out. I am living in the reality of these verses right now. It is not comfortable, but I have learned to ask the Lord, “What are you teaching me through this? What are you saying?” And I am learning the art of listening to my Father’s heart.
Jesus was living on this earth and teaching His disciples to be like Him when He instructed them to stay focused on today. He lived and understood the very wisdom He was imparting. Jesus knows that when I take on more in my head and heart than just today, it is easy for me to run down the hall of worry. I begin coming up with scenarios that may never actually happen that completely unravel me today. In those moments, I have taken my eyes completely off of Him.
Just before verse 34 above, there is a very well-known verse and golden nugget of truth that will keep me grounded and close to God’s heart as I live each day: “Seek the kingdom of God above all else.” Another version says it this way: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God provisions.” I can relate to the word “steep” because when I look forward to a cup of my favorite tea, I have to be patient to let it steep for just the right amount of time. Then the flavor is perfect.
Jesus says to my heart…be patient, spend time steeping in My Word, live in the day allowing God to direct each and every step. Steeping in God’s Word settles my heart into realizing that He is completely trustworthy and in control. Because the reality is, I have no control over what is coming tomorrow.
In the words of Brandon Heath’s latest song (and my favorite), entitled “See Me Through It,” he says:
In the trial and the pain,
Fire and the rain,
You are gonna see me through it…