Anxiety, worry, fretting, or any of its variations don’t do a single bit of good! The whiteout of a snowstorm clouds our spiritual vision, keeping us from believing God is in charge and can do anything He wants. That’s why Jesus continues by saying, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?” (verse 27)
As someone has said, “God answers prayers, not worry.” You will have more success adding to your life’s span with prayer than you will with worry. Worry doesn’t reach the Sovereign God of the universe. But He is all ears on His throne when prayers reach Him.
Since commentators say that adding “a single cubit to his life’s span” (v. 27) refers to both the length of life and our physical stature, this verse is for all of us who don’t like the shape we’re in, or the nose we have, or the color of hair, or…whatever. All of us have something in our physical appearance that bothers us. (Tweet that!)
But Psalm 139:13-15 assures us, “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.” (NASB)
Shirley Shibley learned that this principle applied to the growth of her children. She wrote to me, “When my children were infants I walked with fear at my side. Were they developing as they should? Was I a proper mother? I worried about the soon-to-come ‘terrible twos.’ When I weathered that age, I worried that my toddlers would not be adequately prepared for school. When they were school-age, I was afraid they would get into trouble or fail a grade. And adolescence? I’d seen some children’s personalities change abruptly from sweet to ugly at that age, and I lay awake worrying every time I saw the slightest indication my children were rebelling.
“Then I finally realized that I had wonderful children and God had been caring for them all along! They grew because of difficult times and mistakes. Worry robbed me of simply enjoying my children at each stage. Now as grown adults, my children are still learning to trust God more and more each day. That is what their mother—me!—is finally learning to do, also.”
Are you learning that too? If you struggle with anxiety about wanting to “add a single cubit” to yourself or that of anyone else, make a choice to say, “God, I am going to trust your sovereignty. You could have made me any way you wanted, and you desired this for me. I choose to trust you and thank you” (and if you need to, you can add,) “even though I’m not completely sure…” By making that decision, even with some reservations, you may be able to cross that worry off your list!