This post was originally posted on ChristianStewardshipCoaching.com Dec. 10, 2014.
There is an epidemic, a disease of rampant proportions affecting the American People of today.
The epidemic is one of worry.
We live in an age of anxiety, a time of many worries. It is estimated that more than forty million people have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This says nothing of the countless more who deal with worry every day.
We worry about our families, our finances, and our futures. We worry how those three things affect each other. Of course, worry is not a new phenomenon.
I mean think about the description from Exodus 17. The Israelites were complaining to Moses because they were worried. They were worried for good reason, wandering in the desert without water, but still they were worried. They did what we are all so good at doing when we are worried.
They complained and argued with the world. They complained to God and Moses about how unfairly they were being treated. The problem was that their problem wasn’t really the lack of physical water.
It was the lack of faith, the lack of belief in the power of God to act. We all know intellectually that worry isn’t helpful. Worry about tomorrow doesn’t help you with today, only faith and through faith planning and action can help, not worry. Worry only burns emotional energy that burns out our faith without achieving anything good. But there are some things that can help us with worry and remind us of the power and glory of God.
Don’t Worry Songs
One powerful way that we’ve used to alleviate worry and glorify God is through the power of song. I’m not just talking about hymns here either. We’ve had songs about worry and overcoming worry as long as we’ve had music. In fact, there is something about music itself that seems to help alleviate worry.
It’s comforting to have someone sing to us, recite to us, pray for us using don’t worry songs. It’s not easy to rationalize our way out of worry, but a song can help.
Jesus’ Don’t Worry Song
Before Marley and McFerrin, Jesus delivered his own don’t worry song. Seated on top of a hill, speaking to people gathered around him, Jesus said, “Don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes?”
He sang about birds and lilies and said we were more important. Remember, Jesus was concerned about our hearts, which included our worries. Jesus knew that one of the things that can rob our hearts of joy and peace is an irrational fear surrounding things that we think we need.
Listen to what Jesus included in his don’t worry song.
Jesus points us to beautiful things that we know God takes care of: birds and flowers. God made them and values them, just as God made us and values us.
We are God’s treasure.
God takes care of God’s creation.
Does this mean we should sit around all day with no thought of work?
With no plan or planning?
With no effort of our own?
Of course not. It means we are valuable to God, and God is concerned about our needs.
Jesus gives practical wisdom for giving and living. He asks, “Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?”
What do we gain by worrying?
We know that it gives us stress and anxiety and does damage to our bodies. Practically speaking, worry does not gain us anything.
While Faith, faith gains us everything.
Not because it’s some magic panacea that allows God to deliver everything we want but rather as a wellspring of strength from which we can draw that is bottomless and without end.
Jesus knew that if we take the energy and emotion we’ve been giving to worry and redirect them, we can move forward in a healthy, productive way.
When we’re worried we ask, “What will I eat? What will I drink? What will I wear?”
Jesus directs us instead to “desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
God wants to be our highest priority. Jesus directs us first to seek God, and everything else will fall into place.
As we give our gifts to God, we seek and acknowledge God first, and show our trust for the God who cares for us. Life is uncertain and will cause us to worry.
We must seek God first.