Summary: Jesus says, "Do not worry." But how? We must learn to place our focus on Christ.
Grace In The Moment, Luke 12:22-34
A young boy was driving a hayrack down the road when the wagon fell over in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer came out, saw the young boy crying, and said, “Son, don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready. Why don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay back on the rack.” The boy said, “No, I can’t. My father is going to be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Now don’t worry, you’ve got yourself all worked up, just come in and have some lunch and you’ll feel better.”
The boy said, “I’m just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me." The farmer and the young boy went inside and had dinner. Afterwards, as they walked outside to the hayrack, the farmer said, “Now, son, don’t you feel better after that great meal?” The boy said, “Yes but I just know that my father will be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Nonsense. Where is your father anyway?” The boy said, “He’s under that wagon.”
This life is inevitably going to be full of cares and concerns which we do well to consider. Clearly, it is a good thing to be concerned with our lives and take care to consider our actions as they relate to handling responsibilities, duties, and caring for other people. For many of us, however, there are times in our lives when being concerned turns into being worried, when being careful to handle our responsibilities morphs into anxiety, fret, and worry which distracts us and can even consume us and threaten to consume all that is around us.
The things which we love are loved best by trusting God with them. The things we are for are cared for best by placing our faith not in our ability to care for them, but in God’s sovereign grace. It has been said that worry is much like interest paid on a debt not yet owed. Who among us would freely go to a bank and offer them monthly interest payments on a loan we had not yet incurred? Anxiety and worry about the future is just the same way, though many of us find ourselves trapped in patterns of worry at times in our lives while still others find themselves so ensnared by anxiety and worry that they simply cannot find the strength to free themselves from the onslaught of anxiety.
In order to live the grace-filled life which God has intended for us, in order to be free from worry, freed to live a life of active participation in God’s grace, we must first learn to control our thought life. We must learn to replace thoughts of worry with thoughts of trust, thoughts of anxiety with knowledge of God.
It is important to remember here that there is a distinction between legitimate concern and worry. It is right to be concerned, even to some extent worried, about walking in an unsafe area late at night or driving a car which is known to have rotten brake lines! What I will be discussing is more the worry which distracts us from knowing and loving God. The worry that Jesus talks about is the kind that has the power to overtake us and distract us from knowing the grace of God.