"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand." Philippians 4:6-7a
What do we gain with worry?
Some of us worry about what we will wear, or what we will eat, or if we are being entertained, or if our houses are good enough, or if we are at the best school, or if we are well-liked enough…
Those stresses and anxieties can get us down so quickly! They distract us from our focus on the Lord and on godly things. When you are mired in the bog of worry, it seems there is no path to peace.
But what good does all the energy we spend on our anxiousness do us? Jesus asked his followers, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:27)
Jesus could have had more to be concerned with than any other person on earth. He had the same needs as any other human. However, since He was born as the Son of God, He had an awareness we can’t even imagine. In His love, he could see the sin separating people from God. How it must have pained Him to know that He had to suffer for those sins! Yet He desired peace and healing for us, the sinners.
Born to worry, reborn to peace
Once we are reborn into the Christian life, we can learn from Jesus’s teaching: “…I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Once we place our trust in Him, we can concern ourselves with the love of God and love of others. We can praise Him for His tremendous blessings, and try to share His love with others! We can take anything before God – He is always listening. We can experience a peace unlike any we have ever experienced during our time on earth.
The light of Jesus’s love can take us from the bog of sin and worry and lead us on His path of peace.
Keep your eyes on Jesus
How can we keep from worrying?
Once again, we can look for an answer in the Gospel of St Matthew. On a dark, stormy night, the Disciples were in a boat on a lake. They saw Jesus coming toward them, walking on the water! One follower, Peter, wanted to be like Jesus so much that he jumped from the boat and began walking on the water, too!
However, when he noticed the strong wind and deep waves, he took his eyes from Jesus and began to sink. Peter called to Jesus to save him! Jesus grabbed him, they climbed into the boat, and the storm stopped immediately.
Do you see? When Peter kept his eyes – or his focus – on Jesus, not even a stormy sea could topple him! But when he became distracted, he got caught up in the troubled waters. He did remember to call upon Jesus, and Jesus led him to the peace and safety of their boat.
Similarly, we must keep our focus on the Lord – despite the distraction of earthly worries. If they close in upon us, we must look back to God, and He will lead us to peace and safety.