Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rolling With The Punches

Life requires a person to be flexible. Even the best made plans can go awry and there is simply nothing we can do about it except roll with the punches. If we don’t we will just make ourselves crazy. Worrying and fretting about things that we have no control over can’t change things and it only makes us feel worse, so it doesn’t make sense to worry about those bumps in life.

I am sitting at a Subway near the airport in Omaha, NE waiting for my girlfriend to arrive from New Mexico. If things would have gone smoothly she would already be here by now, but her flight was delayed and she is still stuck in Dallas. The wait is frustrating and I wish time would go by faster, but the more I think about it the more frustrated I become. All my worrying hasn't changed reality one bit.

So if worrying doesn’t change things and it only makes us feel worse why do we do it? I think we do it because it makes us feel like we are doing something about the problem. Though it doesn’t change the problem we are able to keep the problem with us by thinking about it. This way we can still be connected with what is going on.

The problem is that worrying takes us away from God. Worrying means that we are looking to ourselves for comfort, for solutions, or for help rather than trusting God to bring us through the difficulty. Each situation that brings worry into our lives provides us with an opportunity to trust God for what we need.

Jesus said:
25 “That's why I'm telling you to stop worrying about your life—what you will eat or what you will drink—or about your body—what you will wear. Life is more than food, isn't it, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren't you? 27 Can any of you add a single hour to your span of life by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies in the field and how they grow. They don't work or spin yarn, 29 but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30 Now if that is the way God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and thrown into an oven tomorrow, won't he clothe you much better—you who have little faith? 31 “So don't ever worry by saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who are eager for all those things. Surely your heavenly Father knows that you need all of them! 33 But first be concerned about God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well. 34 So never worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34; ISV)
Jesus is very clear about the fact that we shouldn’t spend our time worrying. There are two reasons why we shouldn’t worry. The first reason is because worrying can’t change things. Worrying won’t add years to our lives or provide us with food to eat or clothes to wear. Sure worry might drive us to seek out God and to do what needs to be done so we can have what we need, but the act of worry itself will not change things.

The second reason we shouldn’t worry is because God is in control. Worry is really the result of realizing that we aren’t in control of our lives. If we were in control then there wouldn’t be anything for us to worry about (though there might be things other people would have to worry about because we wouldn’t bother to take into consideration all the effects of our actions on other people). As followers of Jesus Christ we should trust that God will bring us through no matter what happens because we know that He has our best interest at heart. God is able to use even the most negative circumstances to make us more like He son Jesus.

Part of being flexible in life then is the ability to trust God through the difficult circumstances of life. It is believing that God will do what is right no matter what might happen to us. When we trust God more than we trust ourselves we will not worry and we will be able to roll with all the punches the world has to throw at us.

1 comment:

theoquest said...

Good thoughts. Hope you guys have a good visit.

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{Philippians 1:1-2; NLT}   This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God's holy people i...