Read Matthew 6:27
27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (NLT)
Each of us tends to worry. We perceive a threat to our welfare or the welfare of someone we love. Our minds then get into overdrive, imagining all sorts of worst-case scenarios. Our sleep suffers, our general health deteriorates. The ‘what if?’ game takes over.
We might perhaps consider this acceptable if it results in some sort of triumph over adversity. If all our worry resolved the problem or overcame the threat then we might conclude worry is worthwhile. But it doesn’t help at all.
Jesus reminds us that worry won’t achieve anything. It is all negative without corresponding positives. Most of us will readily give up something so futile and unproductive. And yet we don’t give up on worrying. We figure we have to control our lives; we figure God can’t help. We figure that unless we sort things out and construct all possible scenarios our life will suffer. If only we worry enough, the threat will dissipate.
Not so. We can certainly reflect on possible futures. We can certainly plan for possible outcomes. We can certainly pray for God’s help and wisdom. Anxiety creeps in when we leave God out of the picture. When our reflecting and our planning and our praying focus on our own abilities and feelings rather than God’s faithfulness.
To be anxious is to be distracted. Focus on God and the threats can be faced. Leaving God out of the picture means bringing worry into the picture. It just doesn’t work.