Summary: Jesus confronts life’s deepest personal problem.
“The Best Remedy For Stress”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer,
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Said the robin to the sparrow, “I really do not know why it is these human beings rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin, “I think it must be that they have no Heavenly Father, such as cares for you and me.”
This is really quite a sad little monologue, because it cuts right to the heart of why so many of us waste so much time worrying and getting stressed out.
It cuts right to the heart of our faith!
Do we really have a Heavenly Father Who cares for us?
God came to this earth in the form of a human being to answer this question once and for all.
He died the death we deserve to answer this question once and for all.
He offers us the faith that will allow us to enter His Kingdom…even while we are still living on this earth because He loves and cares for us more than any of us can even fathom!
And He has even told us that we are much more important to Him than “the birds of the air” that do not sow nor reap nor store things away…but are well taken care of just the same.
What a reason to be thankful!!!
And yet, although most of us sitting here today may profess to believe this…
…we still spend way too much time worrying.
About a year or so ago, one of you folks had a daughter who had to be rushed to the hospital.
And when you found out about this you really began to worry.
And when you got into your car in order to head to the hospital…you were so worried you could hardly still your hands in order to put your key in the ignition.
Then a little sparrow landed on the ground near where you were parked.
And you looked at that little sparrow, and that little sparrow looked back at you…and something quite amazing happened.
You thought back on this passage of Scripture that we are looking at today, and a peace which transcends all understanding came over you as you thought out loud: “Well, little sparrow, if God loves you enough to take care of you…
…then I know He loves my daughter so much more…
…and He will take care of her.”
That was a miracle.
It is also a witness to how the Christian believer can overcome one of the greatest enemies of humankind, which is worry and stress.
Yes, worry and stress is one of life’s deepest personal problems, and right here in the heart of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus confronts this problem head on!
And He has an answer for this problem…the answer!
To many, this Scripture passage seems unbelievable.
We may love to hear these beautiful words—whether they are read, set to music or sung—but how often do we really ask what they mean?
Many people, if they do investigate the meaning, may take one startled look, and then run away!
It’s beautiful, they think, but oh, how impractical!
“Do not worry? Impossible!”
Yet if we can get beneath the surface and penetrate the depths of this message, we may find it to be one of the most freeing and practical messages in the Bible.
What do you worry about most?
Is it your job?
Is it how you look?
Is it whether or not people will like you?
No matter what it is that we worry about most, the chances are that we have found all kinds of ways to try and deal with and cover up this stress.
Some of us turn to drugs or alcohol.
Some of us waste considerable amounts of money on the latest fashions, cars, and weight loss programs.
Some of us just try and decide that we aren’t going to worry about anything or anybody.
Saying and thinking things like: “I don’t care. Just drop out. Just give up,” is one of this generation’s favorite modes of escape.
But this stuff is just all padding and fluff to protect ourselves from worry and stress.
And if we really take Jesus’ Words in this passage to heart…
…well, this message will rip our futile coverings right off!!!
And then, if we, by the grace of God, do respond to the depths of this message we will be healed and our old protections won’t be necessary any longer.
William Arthur Ward observed: “Worry distorts our thinking, disrupts our work, disquiets our soul, disturbs our body, disfigures our face. It destroys our friends, demoralizes our life, defeats our faith, and debilitates our energy.”
I’d say that is a pretty good working definition wouldn’t you?