I am not a planner by nature, unless it’s for something fun. I could plan for vacations for hours on end. For normal plans, however, if it’s important, it better go on the calendar, because I do not generally think far in advance. As a mother of four, there is plenty to keep me busy each day without thinking about the future.
On the other hand, if I am worried about something, I begin thinking far into the future. What will happen, when….? What will happen if…..? For example, I may not worry about finances day to day, but if we receive a few unexpected bills, then I am immediately on the worry train. I find myself ruminating on all of the possibilities and trying to come up with solutions. When our brains are in the midst of worry, it’s difficult to remember that in the present we have everything we need.
The Lord commands us not to worry, telling us repeatedly in His Word that He will provide for us. Often, He gives us just what we need for this season, or for this day, because He wants us to learn to trust Him. Trust is the antithesis of worry.
He taught the Israelites about daily provision in the book of Exodus. There they were, wandering in the desert, running out of food, when the grumbling and worry began. God answered their needs by giving them a special, heavenly food, called manna. When they awoke each morning, manna was covering the ground, and they were to collect just the amount they needed for that day. If they collected extra manna to store it up for the future, it would rot. Through this process, the Israelites learned to rely on God, their Provider, for what they needed each day.
Jesus taught the same idea in Matthew 6, preaching that God cares for us and that He will give us what we need. He advises:
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV
In fact, this blog post came about in a similar fashion. Since yesterday was a holiday, we had family at our house all day, and I did not have a chance to sit down and begin today’s blog. In the evening, I tried to sort through ideas, but my brain was too exhausted from a day of fun, food, and people. So, I prayed and went to bed. As I awoke this morning, half praying (and half still asleep), I had the very clear thought: “manna.” He gave me the idea at just the moment I needed it and not before.
Clearly, He wants us to know that He will provide for our needs today. You can bank on it.
Pause: Find a quiet moment and read Matthew 6: 25-34. Meditate on these verses for a few minutes. What stands out to you?
Renew: What are the areas of your life in which you find yourself worrying? Is it difficult for you to remain in the present and trust that God will provide for your needs? One helpful way to combat worry is to remember times that the Lord has provided for you in the past. Journal, think through, or tell someone about a time that you were worried and the Lord provided just what you needed, when you needed it.
Next: Which verse in the above passage is most comforting to you? I challenge you to write that verse down and put it in a place that you will look often: for example, on your bathroom mirror, on the dash of your car, or in your wallet. When you find worry creeping in, read this verse out loud to yourself.
In Matthew 6, Jesus says:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV
That’s the ticket. If we’re busy seeking His kingdom, then we’re about His business, and we have less time to allow worry to creep in. Our perspective is aligned with His if we are about His kingdom’s work.
May we have eyes to see His kingdom, and may we trust that He will provide.
Pause, Renew, Next!