By nature, I do not tend to be an anxious person. But then honestly, I’ve never really had that much to be anxious about. I’ve always had plenty of food on the table and a roof over my head and clothes on my back. My health has been on the side of very good for 62 years. I’ve had a steady job for 35 years. I have an awesome wife and kids and grandkids. In the grand scheme of things, there has been precious little to get anxious about.
But then again, in the past year I guess I have had some things that I could have worried about – if I had chosen to do so. Back in the Fall I had an MRI and CT scan of my gut because of some weird pains I was experiencing. A few months ago one of my sons tested positive for Covid-19 and I was around him… a lot. And then most recently there was a two week period where I potentially was going to be diagnosed with a brain tumor. An MRI of my brain last week proved otherwise but I was one phone call away from a significant life change!
Why am I not anxious about such things. Perhaps it is just my nature. But I’d like to think it is because of what I believe about God. Here are a few things that come out of this passage that are good reminders for all of us:
- We are of inestimable value to God and we can cast all our cares on Him because we know that He cares for us. (Mt 6:26, 1 Peter 5:7). Does this mean that life will always be sweet? No. But even in the bittersweet times we can cling to the promise of God that He will be with us and that His ways are perfect.
- Anxiety will do nothing more than rob us of the joy it is possible to experience in the present moment. (Mt. 6:27) Or to say it another way (as I saw on a placard in Alaska last summer) “Worry is a waste of imagination.”
- Worry acts as a barometer of our faith. If I find that I am overwhelmed by anxiety then perhaps I am underwhelmed by the greatness and sovereignty of God. (Mt. 6:30) When I ponder these magnificent attributes of God then it becomes difficult to wallow in worry for very long.
- Our emotional energy is much better spent dealing with what IS happening rather than obsessing over what might NEVER happen. (Mt. 6:34) Present tense life can be hard enough. No sense borrowing problems from the future. In the financial world there is what is known as good debt and bad debt. Worry is incredibly bad debt.
Verse 33 is a great note to wrap up with as it sums up this whole passage: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Intentionality is very much needed if we are going to find an antidote for anxiety. SEEK! SEEK God through the study of His Word and prayer. SEEK to pursue His will and not the wayward desires of the flesh. SEEK out people who will encourage you and help to nourish your soul. SEEK to live a life of gratitude for what you do have instead of complaining about what you don’t have. SEEK first the kingdom of God!