By Rev. Gladys Herzog
First Congregational Church, Beardstown
As we think about the world, the pandemic and other problems today, we just might get a knot in our stomach because we have some anxiety or worry about how things are going. We may worry about things like whether our resources, combined with God’s strength given to us, will be enough to handle what is to come. If we think about all of that, we are borrowing trouble from some future date.
I once heard about an army chaplain who heard lots of worries and fears. He decided to do a survey of what made his people anxious. He found a number in the high 90 percent was about worries that never came true. In other words, people worried for nothing.
In Jesus’ sermon on the mount, He says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will wear.” (Matthew 6:25-26) In this most famous passage about our worries, Jesus goes on to say God takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. He says that we are more important to God than the birds and the lilies. Luke 21:34 says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with the anxieties of life.” But what can we do to worry less and have trust that God is here with us, giving us the strength to go on day by day?
People who are worriers think deeply about what can go wrong. If today does not have enough troubles of its own, they borrow from tomorrow. The only thing wrong with that, however, is God gives us resources to deal with one day at a time. Remember the manna God sent to feed the Israelites on their way from slavery to the land God was providing. The Israelites were told there would be enough for each day for each person in the family. It was a test to see if they could trust God for one day at a time.
Those of us who worry have to do that, too. We trust that God gives us the strength for each new day but there is the real fear that comes at us sometimes. God wants us to do what we can to get through the real fear. In other words, God gives us strength that we can use in solving real problems. We have to remember that God’s love for us is as real as the fears or worries seem to us. God’s love is perfect, and scriptures teaches us that perfect love casts out fear. (1st John 4:18) If you are a worrier, tune in again next week for some ways we can deal with our worries.
Prayer: Loving God, help us to feel your strength, surround us with enough resources to work on those things that make us most anxious. Amen.