“Can it really be that simple?” That’s what a brother in Christ texted me after reading (Matthew 6:25-34). I had texted him the verses earlier in the day. The words of Jesus are simple to understand but difficult at times to implement. But should they be? How would Jesus answer this question? Jesus says. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” My mind has been on the topic of worry. I’ve been examining my life to identify reasons why I worry, and how to eliminate worry completely. That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about people and situation. But it does mean I don’t have to live a life consumed with worry. The Bible says a lot about worry. Jesus says, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” In the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke about worry. He said, “And the one of whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” What a scary thought how the worries of this life can choke out the word of God.
As we think about overcoming worry, I would like for us to consider a few thoughts from Elijah.
- Elijah was a man of faith. Yet he too worried (1 Kings 19:1-3). He found himself on the run from Jezebel due to her death threats. His perspective about life and his situation turned dark.
- Worry and Fear made Elijah make a terrible request to God (1 Kings 19:4). He asked God to take his life.
- God was gentle with Elijah during his moment of despair (1 Kings 19). Like a shepherd, the LORD provided for Elijah and guided him away from the juniper tree. Like a sheep listens to the voice of their shepherd, Elijah listened to the words of God.
What’s interesting about the story of Elijah, is that the thing he feared and worried about never happened. Instead, something far better happened! He eventually was taken up by the Lord (2 Kings 2:1-12). Have you ever found yourself worrying about something, and yet it never happened? I think most of our worries fall into this category. Elijah had past experiences of how God provided for Him. So do we! When we find ourselves becoming consumed with worry, consider how God has provided in the past. Cast your cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7). Don’t handle them yourselves. When we do, we typically will make poor decisions like Elijah did. And know, like a shepherd, the God of heaven will provide for us as well.