That is why 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? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? ~Matthew 6:25-27 NLT
…but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. ~Philippians 4:6 AMP
How many of you remember the Mr. Men children’s book series by Roger Hargreaves? Adorable books that were easy to understand, filled with brightly colored illustrations, and had straight-forward messages conveying simple, moral lessons. We had quite a collection at home, and I don’t know who enjoyed their stories the most, my children or I. Some tales were silly and made us laugh, such as Mr. Tickle or Mr. Funny. Others, like Mr. Mean, Mr. Lazy, and Mr. Rude, dealt with more serious issues. But regardless of the topic, after each story my kids and I would spend time talking about the book and how we felt about Mr. Whomever.
Recently I came across the book, Mr. Worry. Mr. Worry worried about “everything and all things.” He worried about leaving things behind on the way home from the store, he worried about Mr. Bump getting hurt, and he worried that the roof of his house might leak when it rained. One day, Mr. Worry ran into a very wise wizard who told Mr. Worry to go home and write down everything he was worried about. So Mr. Worry did. The next day, the wizard dropped by to pick up Mr. Worry’s very long list. The wizard looked over the list, then told Mr. Worry he’d make sure none of these things happened. This made Mr. Worry very happy. So happy, in fact, that he enjoyed his day without worry. Not only did he enjoy that day, but he enjoyed the next and the next and the next. Unfortunately, come Monday, Mr. Worry woke up worried, so he went to see the wizard. When the wizard saw Mr. Worry he asked him what was wrong. Mr. Worry said, “I’m worried.” The wizard asked why. Mr. Worry replied, “Because I don’t have anything to worry about.”
When I read that, I laughed. How silly of Mr. Worry to worry about having nothing to worry about. But then I realized, Mr. Worry is very much like me. I worry about things I have no control over, even though my heavenly Father promises it’s all taken care of.
So why do I do it? Worry, that is? Why do I spend so much time focusing on things I have no control over? Is it because I don’t believe my heavenly Father desires the best for me? That although He is fully capable of taking care of me, He won’t? Or could it be that Mr. Worry sends his sidekick, Mr. Lie, to convince me my God would never really care for all my needs. And instead of ignoring Mr. Lie, I turn around, go home, and start to worry all over again.
Thank goodness I have a God whose provision does not depend on whether or not I worry–or even whether or not I believe He will take care of me. God’s promises go way beyond my shortcomings and are fulfilled simply because He is God and He loves me. And He loves you, too.
So next time you find Mr. Worry pounding at your door, tell him to go away. For you have a mighty and powerful God who promises that all is taken care of.
LORD, why do we worry? Especially when we know we have no control over tomorrow let alone today. Help us let go of anxiety and trouble, and instead rely on You, our provider. Hold us close when life falls apart, and keep our ears sealed from the murmurings of the liar. Show us how to trust in You and lean on You for strength, not only when life throws us the curve ball of worry, but when we have peace as well. Thank You for being there and for being God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.