God, the demands of life are pounding at me. I’m trying not to be anxious…
Today I commit to be still in Your presence – to focus on You and Your truth.

Focus of the month: “You have heard it said…”

Worry bursts through my body and panic rushes like a torrent flood from the inside out. My anxious heart feels on the brink of explosion as my racing mind grapples for a cognitive thought. What? How? Why? When will this stop? Who can help me? Will I ever overcome this? Complete confusion infuses my mind with irrational, unwise responses to each piercing query as I spiral deeper into the horror of anxiety.

Anxiousness. Worry. Concern. Fearfulness. Nervousness. Apprehension. Distress… We have many words for it. And for all of it – Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Don’t do it!”

“For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life…” – Matthew 6:25.

“Do not worry then saying…” – Matthew 6:31.

“So do not worry about tomorrow…” – Matthew 6:34.

So how are we to face the day to day demands and pressures? Fortunately, Jesus didn’t abandon us with just the “don’ts.” He also provided instruction on what to do when faced with anxious thoughts, worry, and distress.

Matthew 6:26-30 – “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”

Jesus tells us to look at the birds in the air and the flowers in the fields! That seems like some crazy advice when the world around us is screaming for our responses, action, and answers. Who’s going to take care of all the demands as we’re lingering in the fields observing the birds and the flowers?

If we truly believe the words of Jesus and trust God to perform His word, then we would understand that God takes care of our needs as we keep our focus on Him – on His character, on His truth, and on His love for us. We must know our worth, our value to God. We are precious in His sight and He loves us with the greatest love. Of course He provides our every need! All our need is met in and through God’s perfect gift to us – Jesus.

But how are our needs met in Christ? According to Jesus’ teaching, we must have faith- believe and trust Him; and we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Only then all the things we are in need of will be provided to us.

Feeling anxious? Pressured? Stressed? …go outside and stroll through the fields. Look at the birds. Smell the flowers. Breathe deep. As you experience the wonders of the Almighty, know God is gracious and compassionate toward you with the same power and majesty. He upholds His word just for you. He is faithful and true. God cannot change and He cannot lie. Be still in His presence as you behold His glory, and know He is God. Seek Him first. The strength, the answers, the provision, the protection you need will come.

 

Holding Fast to Hope,

Maryann

Scripture References: Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:19; Psalm 111; Hebrews 10:23; Malachi 3:6; Titus 1:2; Psalm 46:10.