A Lesson in Keeping Calm

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
Matthew 6:25-27

This post took me a long time to write, because in this passage Jesus is telling his disciples to do something that seems humanly impossible. He’s telling them not to worry. And not just in a general feel-good off handed way, but literally. He is saying that even clothes and food and water – the very primitive foundations of life – are not worth fussing about because the Father knows of these needs and he will provide them.

This message is intended for you and I to take literally as well.

Looking it up in the dictionary, I found that worry means to give way to anxiety or unease; to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. This is a perfect definition, because when are we the most anxious? When we are focusing all our attention and energy on what’s wrong.

But what does Jesus say? In verse 33 he tells us what to do when our thoughts are weighing us down and causing us to be overwhelmed with worry:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

This is our hope. This is what he tells us to do. He tells us to pick our eyes up off our troubles and consider the Kingdom of God.

Instead of letting our hearts grow sick with worry, let’s seek the Kingdom of God by asking ourselves the following questions:

How does God want me to respond to this?

What does obedience look like here?

Instead of dwelling on this, how can I trust God?

These questions will help us start to take a step back and give us space to think about what God sees that we don’t. There is life on the other side of this practice of seeking first the Kingdom of God.

I’ve learned that if Jesus says it, there is freedom on the other side of it. We can be certain that a calmer, more peaceful mind awaits us on the other side of our obedience.

Come, Ask, and Listen

My child, I want you to know that I see you. I know you. I set you free from the sin you so constantly wrestle with. I created you for rest. Breathe. You do know me. You know what I desire.

Child of light in a dark world, though you feel hidden and unknown heaven sees you and is watching. The angels watch and are amazed. I have new things to say to you. In your town, I see you as a star of light as you spend time with me. Zooming out, you join the other stars of light around your state. They are fewer than you’d expect, but I want them to be more.

Don’t underestimate the power of spending time in my presence. You were created for it. All you need to do is come, ask, and listen.

Set Apart

Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 3:1

Being a Christian doesn’t make us a perfect human. It marks us as an imperfect person who’s trust is in someone much greater than us. Often when we pray, it’s easy to forget the depth of how flawed we are and how in need we are of someone to reconcile us to God. This is why there is power in admitting and confessing the ways we’ve sinned. When we ask for forgiveness, Jesus makes us right before God once again. And in that place God declares us innocent and hears our prayers.

Psalm 3:3 says, You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.

Stand firm on this promise: If you trust in Jesus, you are set apart.

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”
Psalm 91: 14-16

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