To worry is to be out of focus. When we worry, our problems and concerns obscure the view God intends for us to see.
Worry creates a faulty vision. It is like placing the wrong prescription glasses on your face and the lenses you are looking through further distort your reality. It makes you dizzy too.
Worry is also like trying to read without my reading glasses. I get frustrated when I look at the fine print because no matter how hard I try to focus on the words, they are still fuzzy. I move the page closer to my eyes then further away from my eyes and then back closer and none of this effort corrects my vision. This is how I would describe what it is like to worry. My problems remain confusing and puzzling no matter how much I focus on them.
Jesus addresses our defective vision by prescribing the correct glasses so that everything we are meant to see becomes visible with the utmost precision. With Jesus, our concerns are put in their proper perspective. Some of our problems may still be there but they are not the focal point.
Let’s examine Jesus words in Matthew 6:25-34:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
When Jesus says to not worry about your life, he mentions our basic human needs of eating, drinking, our body and clothes to wear. Yet he reminds us that life is greater than food and our body is more than clothes. What is he saying here? Could it be that worry puts emphasis on the need rather than the giver? Worry can take something like food and make it more important than life itself. The obtaining of it, the eating of it and the desire for it can get in the way of our mental health and our relationships. What about our bodies? Can the desire to look good and wear the right clothes become our focus more than our body itself?
Worry is always centered around the questions, “Will I be taken care of?” “Will my needs be met?” The object of our desire becomes our focus thus preventing us from enjoying life and living it as God intended.
Jesus says, LOOK at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap and store their food in barns, yet they are well fed. God says we are more valuable than the birds. Do you believe that? It is hard to imagine the birds flying this way and that, looking frantically for food and apprehensive that they will get enough to eat. We are to imitate the birds in their ability to just be. Jesus asks, “Does worrying add one single hour to your life?” My answer is a resounding, no. Worry takes away that one precious hour I will never get back.
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Jesus says SEE how the flowers of the field grow. Notice they do not need to toil and work for their beauty because it is God who makes them glorious. In the scenario of the birds and the flowers, God is the one who is providing them with all that they need. Won’t God do this for us also? When we believe that we are left defenseless to meet our own needs, we end up running after them rather than pursuing God. Our thoughts start looping and we keep asking these questions, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? And we look to ourselves for the answer.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Finally, Jesus says that for all our basic needs to be met, we need to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. In other words, we need to come into His house and rest in his care. We need to look at what He wants us to look at and think about what He wants us to think about. Our focus and attention need to be taken off our worries and onto Him.
The best way I put my worries into the background of my life is to read the Bible every morning. As I read God’s word, my vision gets clearer and God’s intent for my life comes into view, and I’m not confused and frustrated. I feel loved and taken care of by a benevolent God who wants me to live my life without angst and worry. Also, coming into God’s house is to have fellowship with the family of believers. True believers focus on God rather than their problems and lay down their lives for each other. Look for this kind of fellowship where God’s purpose for their lives is clear.
When you worry, do what Jesus says and take your focus off your problems and look to the flowers of the field. Consider how God cares for his creation. Let yourself be the flower.