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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


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[November 17, 2010]   --"Jesus said to his disciples, "Therefore do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet god feeds them.  Of how much more value are you than birds!"
-Luke 12: 22-24

What are you worried about today?  Is work piling up on you?  Are you have trouble at home?  Do your finances strain you?  Are you sad?  All of us are worried today, some of those worries are large and others are small, but we all have them.  And this is natural, because life is hard.  Most days roll by without incident, but over the course of time, troubles, woes and burdens pile up, and we find that life is becoming a pretty big burden.  This causes us to worry.  In fact, even when we don't really have anything big to worry about, we worry.  For example, today I am worried that the Rangers (my favorite baseball team, appearing in their first ever World Series) will lose game 1 tonight.  Now, I didn't lose sleep on it, but it has crossed my mind with enough force to actually gain my attention.  See what I mean, if I am worried about baseball, I really don't have all that much to worry about, yet I worry anyway.

But worry separates us from God.  It separates us from God because it takes our focus from God.  As I worry about baseball, or even something which is actually significant in my own life, I am less able to consider who God is and what God wants from me in any given moment.  Further, worry separates us from God because it evinces a lack of trust in God.  And this is the greater issue. Often, when we worry, we rarely consider that God may be able to, or want to, help us.  God is active in this world and in our lives, and as Jesus makes clear in the above passage, will tend to us and our needs.  This is not to say we can lie back and allow God to serve us and solve all our problems, but that the true source for overcoming our fears and worries is the strength of God in our lives and hearts.  God may not do our work for us, but our faith can remind us that we have been given ample strength and time to do our work, and to distinguish between work that is urgent, and work that can wait.  God may not solve our problems at home, but God has given us clear instructions as to how we are to handle both functional and dysfunctional relationships.  God may not solve our money problems, but God has shown us the difference between wants and needs.  God has equipped us to encounter many of the things which keep us up at night, and as we trust God in these things we may begin to understand that there really isn't much we need to worry about. 

Prayer:  Holy God, please help me to bring you into my worries.  Ease the burdens which weigh upon my heart and mind, and help me to focus on you, your Spirit, and your desire for my life and this world.  I pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

[text from file recieved by Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]

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