We exist in a stressful world, and one which only becomes more so with each passing day. The more one learns, the more there seems to be to worry about.
Uncertainty is the reigning factor in the affairs of the world… though we might attempt to derive understanding of future plans which rulers have, and though we might be assured that at some point all prophecy will come to pass, we never know exactly what the next day or week or month will bring.
That uncertainty can be mentally taxing as people are continually pushed closer to adversity in their own lives. The lack of a stable economy can hit home at any time, ever tightening “security” measures can mean the sudden loss of personal freedoms and even, ironically, personal safety.
Threats and rumors of food shortages and an ever more polluted supply of food and water can cause anyone aware of those factors to wonder what they will be eating a year from now.
Weather manipulation, mood manipulation, the threat of a seething geo-political climate ripe for world war and the classified technology at their fingertips to make such a thing a disaster like no war before… who could not end up a little worried?
Believers in Yahushua know that they have been charged to trust Him and not to worry… that admonition alone can be, and should be, a serious relief to us – realizing that, unlike the unbelieving of the world, we have an unbeatable assurance. Still…
…there are probably few believers who have never found themselves buried in a burden of anxiety from which they find it very difficult to extract themselves.
It is not ignorance of the assurance we have been given which is responsible for worrying, rather it’s a multitude of instincts innate in the flawed character of who we are which leads us to look at what we can or can not achieve, instead of what He can achieve.
Since we are all flawed, worry is universal. Some might be more anxious than others… but we’ve all been worried before. “What am I going to do?” is the mantra of the anxious mind.
That little question begins a cycle of irrational responses which traps the mind in a fruitless cycle of grasping for solutions which are not there, in a natural sense.
“What am I going to do?” is not a question which arises when there are clear choices and responsibilities to be met, it arises when there are no obvious answers to a difficult situation…
“I” is the issue…
As a person retains the responsibility and the authority in the use of the word “I”… all solutions must come from the one asking “what am I going to do?”
Immediately all responsibility and authority in the situation no longer belongs to our Creator inasmuch as the inquirer is concerned. “I” has a limited capacity to offer good solutions… and “I” will normally fail to adequately resolve anything.
Worry and self trust can arise out of an erroneous concept that He helps those who help themselves, contrary to His word, which clearly imparts the message that He helps those who can not help themselves… and in the most basic sense, none of us Can help ourselves.
The basic principle which operates behind the scenes of anxiety, though it may seem odd, is Pride.
If we feel there is any instance in which our answers are more sufficient than His, we have esteemed ourselves wise and powerful enough to take on that burden.
If we wrestle with the idea that we are not worthy to receive His help… that also assumes that it is possible that we could be. Worry does not feel like pride… yet it is the subtle output of a self-reliant nature which processes adversity in terms of what we can do about it.
We can be awed by His mercy in the fact that throughout His Word, YHWH does not harshly berate us for our troubled hearts that are so weakened by sin nature. Though we might deserve the scolding… His answers to our self-reliant worry are gentle and comforting. This fact alone should give us strength, knowing that a Creator merciful enough to be kind towards our faults is also merciful to be faithful in His promises to provide that which we need.
“Cast your burden on Yahuwah and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
– Psalm 55:22
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your celestial Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field how they grow.
They neither toil nor spin and yet I say to you that even Shelomoh in all his splendor was not arrayed like one of these.
Now if Yahuwah so clothes the grass of the field, that today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For after all these things the heathen seek.
For your celestial Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of Yahuwah and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
– Matthew 6:25-34
“What am I going to do?” should be a question that we routinely reword “What is He going to do?” Instead of the question only compounding our worries as it does when “I” is the subject… it can be said with confident anticipation… even excitement at the prospect of being the recipient of a blessing as yet unknown.
While our solutions are inadequate, limited and temporary, His are sufficient, full of infinite possibility and eternally sure. How amazing is it when you’re the one person in thousands who can get excited over some personal adversity instead of being burdened by it? That is, perhaps, the ideal and a goal that most of us have yet to attain to… but that’s what spiritually “growing up” is all about.
We ought to never be discouraged by the learning process which He designs for each individual in order to teach us more perfect faith. In this He proves that He loves us… even when the process is frustrating.
It is not uncommon for our Heavenly Father to remove every available natural solution to our own adversities… and though this can seem, through natural senses, to be a lonely and frightening circumstance, it is in this sort of “desolate landscape” situation, without our self-reliant tools, that we often learn how to efficiently call on Him, having no other options.
When we have wrestled with ourselves, attempting to find a way out of a situation which has no remedy, gone through anger, sadness and despair, spent sleepless nights or preoccupied days trying to solve our own issue, finally there is a moment of giving up and letting Him take control. When we see His response and understand His faithfulness, it is then that our faith increases.
“Yahuwah is my shepherd. I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Yahuwah forever.”
– Psalm 23
He is the Almighty, All Sovereign and All Knowing King of Kings… and He cares for His children with more vigilant concern than the best earthly father who has ever lived.
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your celestial Father give the Sacred Spirit to those who ask Him!”
– Luke 11:11-13
In the uncertain days, months and years ahead… as long as He will that this age endures, may we all learn to trust Him more perfectly, mature in the confidence of faith towards Him, and be encouraged in His ever present help.
He never leaves nor forsakes us… not because we are good, but because He is.