The Answer to Worry
Ever struggle with worry? Of course you have--everyone has. Whether the issue is our children, our job, our relationships, our health--you fill in the blank--we've all struggled with worry at one time or another. Sometimes the worry is fleeting, but other times it can be paralyzing. At the root of worry is our very natural desire to be in control. The reality, though, is that there's a gap between the little that we actually control and all that we wished we controlled. That gap is the Worry Gap.
God knows we struggle with the Worry Gap. That's kind of cool think about. Our struggle with worry doesn't surprise him, nor does it cause him to shake his head in disappointment with us--he gets us. In fact, he gets us so much that Jesus tackles the Worry Gap in his very first public speaking opportunity. Again, he gets us.
So what's Jesus' answer for our worry? Interestingly, he doesn't give a bunch of "how to" advice. Instead, he reminds us of something vastly more important, "Father God is faithful and you matter to him." Jesus points us to a parent/child relationship with God.
Have you ever noticed our children don't generally worry about what they're going to eat or wear? Why is that? Because they know they have a parent, and that they'll be provided for. That's what Jesus is telling us, "Don't worry. You have a Father who loves you, and he's a very good Father. He's going to take care of you." God has his hands on the steering wheel--he's in control. He has made a promise to you, and he never breaks his promises. You can trust him.
So, what's our part of the bargain? Well, just like a child with their parent, we need to stick close to Jesus. When a child runs away, it's hard for a parent to take care of them. Likewise, we won't feel the presence of God in our lives when we wander away from him. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus sums up how we can make sure we’re staying in step with God when he says, "Make it your priority to pursue the Father's will and Father's ways; then you'll see and feel the Father's presence in your life." Tell him you trust his decisions and wisdom. Give him permission to step in and act. When you do, the Worry Gap begins to shrink.
Kirk Freeman, the lead pastor at CrossBridge Community Church, spent ten years working in the Christian publishing industry prior to transitioning into the pastoral ministry. He served as executive pastor at NorthWood Church in the DFW metroplex before moving to San Antonio to help start CrossBridge. Follow him on Twitter @KirkFreeman.