So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ - Matthew 6:31
Don’t worry!? What a thing to say with so much to worry about, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s just a sample of things I have personally worried about in the past 24 hours: the economy, my daughter, my mom, myself, the elections, vaccines, masks, the list goes on. But my list is one of someone truly blessed. I’m one of the fortunate that doesn’t have to worry about food, rent/mortgage, unemployment benefits, illness, a job…the list is long, so long, for so many.
Apparently though, worry is part of the human condition. It is built into the DNA. So, what was Jesus thinking when he said this:
Luke 12:29 So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 21:34 “But be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day close down upon you suddenly like a trap.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?
I suppose there’s a bit of a silver lining in not being able to send the kids back to school; parents don’t have to worry about getting new back to school clothes! Not so positive if you make, sell, or transport such things. Interestingly, one of the first mentions of clothes in the Gospels is the suggestion not to worry about them:
Matthew 6:28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin.
Not worrying is perhaps the hardest instruction of all. Even if we are assured of how little we have to worry about:
Luke 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
We can assume though that Christ knew what he was talking about. Who had more to worry about than Him? Heck he didn’t even have a place to lay his head:
Luke 9:58 Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
So, how does He suggest we handle the worries of life? Apparently, taking things a day at a time helps as He tells us here:
Matthew 6:34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own..
And in this most famous of prayers He incapsulates the whole idea:
Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread…
Not tomorrow’s bread, just today's.
It is very hard to trust that we are taken care of, that we don’t have to worry so much.
In the end, it seems to be about faith...