Putting Worry to Rest

 by Stephen Shives

Jesus said:
“Do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”                           Matt. 6:31
ounds simple enough, but putting God’s plan for your life into action is more than reciting a scripture verse or participating in a religious exercise. It is coming to the understanding that this is what you were created for:
Seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness – In other words, look for God’s plan in your life and live in a manner that pleases Him. No matter what you face, God calls you to live a life of integrity, and to continue trusting Him even when the going gets tough. So often, people try to short cut the process by “taking over” for God. But, the “What Would Jesus Do?” lifestyle, is a life-long journey.
Is there something that has you worried or feeling hopeless? (Bills? Your children? Health? Work?) You may call it The School of Hard Knocks… Murphy’s Law… or just call it “Life.” We all have times when there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. About then a friend shows up to say, “It’s not as bad as it seems.” Or “Look on the bright side…” But it can be pretty tough to look on the bright side, when all around you is dark and gloomy.
The good news is that you can turn the light back on! Changes are constantly taking place all around us. School’s back in. Fall is just around the corner, with the holidays soon to follow. Shopping. Crowds. Rain. Snow. My birthday. OK, OK, I’ll stop now! Even if we think so, we have very little or no control over many of the changes taking place. Although we can try to steer change in a positive direction, (such as the price of gasoline) there are no guarantees. At best, we are only participants in the events of a fast paced world.
People often ask advice on certain situations, (whether my advice or someone else's) but ultimately do what they want to do anyhow. (frequently disregarding wise counsel) I no longer lose sleep over people who do stupid things after being cautioned otherwise. OK, now you think I’m cold and insensitive. The truth is, it’s a full time job just keeping up with my own stupid mistakes. Hopefully, I've learned something from them that will help someone else.
So what’s your biggest concern right now? Take a moment, and write it down. Now, ask yourself, “Is there anything I could or should be doing to improve this situation?” You see, when Jesus said, “Do not worry…” He wasn’t implying that we should ignore our responsibilities. He is telling us that when we get our priorities in order and pursue God’s design for our life, our problems are no longer as big as they once appeared.
Now take that piece of paper and use it to mark Matthew 6:25-34 in your Bible. In your own words, give your problem to God. He REALLY loves you. No matter what troubles you face, the greatest emptiness of all is a life not knowing a relationship, with the one who created you to truly live.