May 2009 - Vol. 30

God Is In Control by Jon Wilson, continued

There is a way in which we can assent to the notion of God being in control of even chaotic circumstances around us, yet find ourselves in doubt regarding another, more personal, question: Does God care about me? Or put another way: What is going to happen to me and my family? In the Sermon on the Mount, in the context of encouraging us to have a single-hearted focus on the Lord, to not have our allegiance divided between our obedience to God and our obedience to the things of the world, Jesus speaks to this question:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
The point here isn’t that you should practice some sort of mind over matter, and not worry just because it’s better to live ‘worry free’. The point is, we don’t need to worry. It is unnecessary.

I have a special knack for worrying. In fact, it goes back several generations in my family. My mother likes to tell about my grandma, who would regularly call my mother, relate some situation that was on her mind, and then ask, “Do you think I should worry?” Like it’s some sort of task or burden that we can choose to take up, if we are convinced that it is our duty. It’s worth a smile, but I think it’s this type of thinking that Jesus is addressing. He is freeing us from this burden, this duty. He cares for me, for you, he has everything under control, and we can be free from worry, like the birds of the air.

I find it helpful to think about God’s love through analogy. My family has recently taken in a couple pet birds. Here are these beautiful, fragile, little creatures, completely dependent on us for their sustenance. Our hearts are tender toward them, and we wouldn’t dream of just neglecting their needs. For their part, they sing, play, fly, and eat, happy as, well, larks. Or I think of my children: do I want my kids concerned about where their next meal is going to come from? Even if I was down to my last dollar, I would want to protect them from worry, to make them feel secure and cared for. If this is the way I care for my children and my pets, how much more does God care for me?

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