In our series on resisting worry, we find out Jesus deals with our concern about tomorrow. Jesus says, “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:32-34 NASB)
I’m worried! I’ve been wondering, If I get breast cancer, should I take traditional chemotherapy or try a nutritional approach? (Have you noticed how fast “wondering” turns into worry?)
No, I don’t have breast cancer, but I was just wondering what I should do if I get it. You see, several of my friends and acquaintances have breast cancer, and I was just hoping to plan now what I should do.
No, it’s not really funny and I wasn’t laughing when worry made me mull over those ideas for several days. Those thoughts are how the “Gentiles” think. Jesus is pointing out that they don’t trust God. They “buy” trouble in case they need to cash it in later.
We don’t want to be like that! Jesus is telling us that tomorrow is in God’s hands and we’re just supposed to be concentrating on today, not worrying about tomorrow. (Tweet that!) When I’m worrying about what kind of therapy I’ll take if I get breast cancer tomorrow, what is my view of today? It’s muddied and sullied by worry! As someone has said, “If you have one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow, you’ll look at today cross-eyed.” (Tweet that!)
God will take care of tomorrow. Yes, I should make plans for whatever I truly have control over in the future. But not for those things over which I have no control. If I seek His kingdom, if I obey what He wants me to do today and follow His promptings for any planning for tomorrow, then I can entrust tomorrow to God.
Herman, unfortunately, couldn’t quite trust in that. Some time ago Larry and I had lunch at our friend John and Dixie Murray’s home, and they told us about their cat, Herman. Herman has gone to cat heaven now, but we were enthralled to hear about him.
Herman was a twenty-pound, black and white mix cat who loved to eat. And John and Dixie were generous in feeding him. But when the food in Herman’s bowl got a little thin—you know, he could see the bottom through some of the food?—he got nervous. He would pace and meow and look up at John and Dixie, worried that his bowl wasn’t full of food. John and Dixie laughed when they saw the pacing, meowing and worry-lines on Herman’s forehead. After all, the bowl wasn’t even empty yet; we’re talking “starting to see a tiny portion of the bottom of his bowl while there’s still plenty of food.”
As John and Dixie pointed out to us, within a foot of Herman’s bowl was a pantry with a ten-pound bag of Herman’s cat food. There was always plenty, but Herman couldn’t trust in that; if the bowl started to look empty, he figured there was something to worry about!
Worry is unnecessary for us too. We are more important than Herman, the birds of the air, or the flowers in the field. When you feel like life is out of control, trust in God’s sovereignty to provide for every need you have. He knows what’s best and He will do it! It’s not about you; it’s all about God!
(Excerpt from Partly Cloudy With Scattered Worries)