In a Hurry to Worry?
I’ve always heard there are two days that you and I should never, ever worry about: yesterday and tomorrow.
Our Gospel lesson specifically tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” What color are those words? RED! Jesus’ words!
We know we can’t live in the past... what’s done is done... what’s been has been! We can’t live in the future - we don’t know what tomorrow holds.
We can only live today. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from trying to live in the past or in the future, does it?
We’re often in a hurry to worry, aren’t we? I often say, “God gives us one day at a time... because we couldn’t handle two!”
And I think that important to understand. We’re called to live life “one day at a time” and not to dwell on the past or worry about tomorrow - because - when you worry (when you stress over past mistakes and failings... or fret about tomorrow’s problems) you miss the blessings of today.
No matter what happened yesterday... when tomorrow arrives, God will give you & the power, perspective, grace, and wisdom we need... to face the challenges of the day.
Of course, sometimes our worry... our anxiety over tomorrow becomes a “self-fulfilling” prophecy.
Late one night in a small Alabama cemetery, Vance Vanders had a run-in with the local witch doctor, who wafted a bottle of unpleasant-smelling liquid in front of his face, and told him he was about to die and that no one could save him.
Back home, Vanders took to his bed and began to deteriorate. Several weeks later, emaciated and near death, he was admitted to the local hospital, where doctors were unable to find a cause for his symptoms or slow his decline.
Only then did his wife tell one of the doctors of the hex. The Doctor thought long and hard. The next morning, the Doc called Vander’s family to his bedside. He told them that the previous night he had lured the witch doctor back to the cemetery, where he had choked him against a tree until he explained how the curse worked.
Turns out, the medicine man had, according to the Good Doctor, rubbed lizard eggs into Vanders’ stomach, which had hatched inside his body. One reptile remained, which was eating Vanders from the inside out.
The Doctor then called a nurse who had, by prior arrangement, filled a large syringe with a powerful emetic [a substance which induces vomiting]. With great ceremony, he inspected the instrument and injected its contents into Vanders’ arm. A few minutes later, Vanders began to gag and vomit uncontrollably.
In the midst of it all, unnoticed by everyone in the room, the Doctor produced his pièce de résistance—a green lizard he had stashed in his black bag. “Look what has come out of you Vance,” he cried. “The voodoo curse is lifted.” Vanders did a double take, lurched backwards to the head of the bed, then drifted into a deep sleep. When he woke the next day he was alert and ravenous. He quickly regained his strength and was discharged a week later…
In the 1970s, Sam Shoeman was diagnosed with liver cancer and told he had only months to live. A few months later, Shoeman passed away. But the autopsy revealed the doctors were wrong. He had only one small tumor still contained within the liver—not a life-threatening stage of cancer. Sam Shoeman did not die from liver cancer; he died from believing he was dying of liver cancer. Our beliefs change us mentally, physically and spiritually.
And that’s the problem with worry. Worry affects us negatively... mentally, physically and spiritually.
Jesus loves you (and me)! The Bible says “he cares for you.” He holds each of our lives in the palm of his hand.
And when it comes to all the things we need... God’s word tells us we can trust God... we can rely on Christ... to see us through.
Jesus never said we should pray, “Give us this day what we need for tomorrow.” Jesus said, when we pray, say, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God wants you and me to depend on him one day at a time. He will provide everything you need. You will lack nothing.
It’s okay to plan for tomorrow. Just don’t borrow trouble from yesterday or tomorrow. Don’t be in a hurry to worry! Trust God for each day as it comes.
What are you worrying about from your past that you need to surrender to God?
What are you worrying about in the future that you need to trust God for today?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
We quote that scripture all the time! Jesus gives us “peace that passes all understanding!” But what is it?
It’s when the Peace of Christ rules your heart... and you have no logical, rational reason for it. You just lost your job but somehow you’re at peace about it. Why? Because Jesus loves you... Jesus cares for you. You just heard the dreaded word “cancer” from the doctor. For some reason, you have peace about the situation. Why? Because Jesus loves you... Jesus cares for you. Just keep giving your worries to him. He can handle it.
We all worry from time to time: But... you know... the fact is... when the peel back all the layers... our worries reveal the parts of our life that we don’t fully trust God to handle. Or an area of our life we haven’t surrendered to God.
And listen to me: Any area of our lives where God is not in control is going to be a source of insecurity and worry.
God’s word tells us that God already knows perfectly well that you need... and he will give you and me all those things... when we give him first place in our lives. (Matthew 6:32-33, Jerry’s paraphrase).
When you make Jesus Christ number one in every area of your life, it simplifies your priorities and gives you a lot less to worry about.