Neither John nor I could sleep.
Although we rejoiced and praised our God for the very-much-needed rainfall in our part of the world, the steady drips into our rain barrel, the sounding arc of our electric fence from outside our window, and the pressing, but animated thoughts within our mind, kept us awake.
Have you ever had just too much to do and not enough time to do it?
Have you ever had just too much on your mind and not enough capacity to hold it?
Have you every had just too much concern for others and not enough ability to care for it?
This is our current reality.
So, John rose first.
I slipped out of bed next.
I decided to make some tea, grab my Bible, and utilize these early morning hours with some much-needed encouragement of heart and redirection of thought found in Scripture.
And where did my Bible study direct me this morning?
No surprise here.
Check it out:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?“
New International Version, Luke 12: 23 – 26
At the basic, most fundamental neccesities of life, God’s promises are clear. There is no need to worry about our lives – what we will eat, what we will wear, or even what we will do. And if our Lord offers His care, protection, and provision of food, water, and covering, how can He not do the same for every other aspect of our lives?
We may protest. This world is a broken, depraved place.
How can we not worry?
Political leaders exploit.
Cancer and disease spreads.
Evil men and women kill.
Substance abuse enslaves.
Sexual violence subjugates.
Security and well-being are compromised.
Worry, fear, and anxiety about these beyond-comprehension-and-understanding matters cause heart-level responses and sometimes, capricious reactions. Some of us hide. Some of us cry. Some of us strike. Some of us yell and scream. Some of us ignore. Some of us stay busy – probably, too busy. Some of us help. And some of us, stop and think. Instead of looking to ourselves for solutions or determining what we think is right, we decide to look up from the pit of depravity and despair to pray and seek the ways of God.
As Jesus says, we cannot add one hour to our lives as we worry about this, that, or the other thing. And if we cannot do this one-little-thing (of adding time to our day to fix whatever is ailing our hearts and minds), why do we worry about the rest of life?
Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be given to you as well.
New International Version, Luke 12: 30-31
Again, we are reminded. At the very most basic level of need, God promises to help us.
So, this very morning, I felt prompted to ask the Lord, my Lord, to sift and strain away each fear and worry from my mind and heart.
I made a list of the many concerns of my heart and am asking my God to:
Protect my friends in South Africa from the upsurge in intimidation, abuse, and violence that has gripped all areas of the nation – this week.
Encourage and provide for my friends in Zimbabwe who are dealing with famine, food insecurity, power outages, economic hardships, and political challenges that are beyond my comprehension.
Bless my friends throughout the world with peace of mind and contentment of heart – even if things are not going the way they want them to at the moment.
Minister to my team and give them strength and capacity to love those in their sphere of influence as they seek to instill the hope of Christ in the people they serve so faithfully.
Strengthen my husband as he works, ministers, supports, and encourages our family, our team, and those he ministers to and with each and every day.
Provide for Micah’s university tuition this year.
Offer opportunities for Jake and Caleb to expand their social skills and increase their self-confidence.
Give us direction for what is next for Jake and Caleb.
Bless my parents with peace of mind and joy of heart.
Help my aging body keep strong, agile and able.
Keep me aware, sensitive, kind, and available to the needs of those around me.
Help me be patient. patient. patient. As I wait. wait. wait…for certain things to finally be realized in my life.
This is my list of worries and fears. There are no quick fixes and no easy answers for any of them. Maybe this is as it should be. I don’t know. What I do know is that my God asks me not to worry about any of these close-to-my-heart matters.
He decided that I needed to be reminded this morning.
Friends, are you worrying about anything? Anything at all?
Make a list.
Offer your concerns to your Heavenly Father.
Trust in His care and provision for you and the cares of your heart.
I’m going to do that today – even at this early hour.
The rain is still falling.
The electric wire is still tripping.
I still have a very lengthy to-do list.
But, I’m not as anxious now.
I’ve decided to trust in my God’s encouragement that my life is more than worrying about this-that-or-any-other-thing.
What do you think?
Will you join me?