Dear Church Family and Community,
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
Last month, I went in to my doctor’s office for a wellness check. It is only once a year, but also something that I just routinely started doing a while back. The benefits of these visits are numerous including detecting potentially life-threatening diseases early, monitoring existing conditions, screenings and needed immunizations, and just improved health. I was actually very excited for this trip because of a few significant and consistent healthy choices I had been making, since the last time I met with my doctor. I went in with no worries.
The checkup itself started off well. Everything was rather mundane and routine. I felt great about that. However, after taking my blood pressure, it was impossible not to notice the level of concern evident in the nurse’s reaction and even voice. We went from small talk, to family history, diet, exercise regiment, and finally taking my blood pressure again. This was all repeated when my doctor came in. I realized as we went through the battery of questions that I had most definitely moved from no worries to very worried!
I am grateful for my doctor. He was able to clearly explain my abnormally high blood pressure and then map out a game-plan for me going forward. Now a month and a half later, I have made good progress with medication, being intentional about sleep, and also actually taking time off. I feel as good now, as I have in months, and honestly, maybe years. And though I have moved from no worries, to very worried, to more peace and more reliance on God, I have also been sobered by the reality that starting to exercise regularly a year or so ago, may have saved my life.
This recent episode has reminded me that worry can be a very natural reaction in life. For me, worry is something I’ve always eschewed. I have always believed that what is meant to be will be, that God works together for our good, and that in the end God’s good and faithful will, will be a blessing to us. I have prayed and relied on God to keep me balanced, focused on Jesus, and trusting that the Spirit is alive and working. Most people who know me intimately will concur that worry is the least of my worries. But none of us are immune from worry.
Worry finds us all. Sometimes it comes from things out of the blue. Sometimes it stays in things that have been longstanding, or that refuse to let us go. Life is full of things that deeply concern us, some that even trouble our souls. Worry is seemingly, a very normal and natural part of life, for all of us.
Yet in Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus clearly us not to worry. Our Lord reminds us that God is in control. God provides the breath in our lungs, food and water for our bellies, and clothes for our backs. Do not worry. God provides for creation and will provide for you. Do not worry. God will take care of us, so seek first the kingdom by loving others and storing up treasures in heaven.
To prepare for this week’s service, I would like to invite you to spend the next few days intentionally meditating on this text in Matthew. To help you reflect, I would like to ask you to focus on the following questions:
- Spend 15 minutes in nature this week. Where do you see God’s provision?
- What is one worry that you just cannot let go of?
- What is a worry that God has helped you or someone you know, overcome?
- How has God proven his love and care for you recently?
One of the most memorable sermons I’ll ever hear, was Pastor Woody preaching on worry, and reminding us that sometimes, we must wait to worry. I remember being amazed and also set free about this concept. God is in control. Trust God and wait to worry. This too shall pass. Trust God and wait to worry. Worry may be a natural response. Trust God and wait to worry. In the waiting, God sets us free, reminds us of his love and care, and turns our eyes and our hearts off of our troubles and back on to him, where they belong.
God bless you all, and take care.
Love in Christ,
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
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