Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Luke 12:22-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Do Not Worry
22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 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 the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[a] 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;[b] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Are you a worrier? Most of us at some point probably are. Let’s face it — there’s a lot to worry about these days. And of course, worry does have its place. But worry can also weigh us down, can’t it? Sometimes it can even make us sick.
As we all know, some people are just more prone to worry than others. They’re just wired that way. I also want to draw a distinction here between worry and caution. Caution is a “prudent carefulness.” It’s worry that has a purpose — it keeps us safe, helps us plan, and urges us to consider what can happen. It’s how we can come up with Plan A, plan B, and sometimes, Plan C.
However, worry can weigh us down, rob us of living life joyfully and in the present, and sometimes make us so overly cautious that we don’t act.
So, what do we do with all that worry to keep it from weighing us down, holding us back, robbing us of joy?
In today’s reading from Luke’s Sermon on the Plain, Jesus teaches us that the opposite of worry is trust. That is what Jesus is getting at when he tells us to “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 the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
Pushing back on this a little bit, we might say, “you’ve got to plan, think about what you will wear, right? We’re not birds or flowers. What is Jesus really getting at?”
I think it’s about living life in the present and trusting God. Managing our worry and being intentional about where we put our focus. Staying where life is lived in the present time — keeping our minds, when we can, somewhere in between the past and the future and committing ourselves to living in trust.
No, there isn’t a magic switch we can install in our minds to turn worry off. Or a magic pill that cures chronic worry. But, for me, it all comes down to remembering the presence of God — always — and the provision of God, as Jesus alludes to in this passage of scripture. It’s learning to consciously interrupt worry with the reminder of God’s presence. Even so, sometimes even the little things will still bother and worry me.
What do you worry about? When has worry dragged you down or even made you sick? What would it take to get yourself into a place of being able to catch yourself worrying and remember the presence of God in your own life?
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster