Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? – Matthew 6:27 (KJV)
One of my favorite pastimes is genealogy. I love tracing back my roots, reading about my ancestors and the collective DNA over the centuries that have culminated in making my family and me.
One of my blood lines leads back to the Medici’s, the Florentine powerbroker family who gave the world three popes, two French queens and several dukes, duchesses, ya da ya da… as well as bankrolling Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. (Of course, my direct lineage traces back to one of the lesser knowns of the Medici dynasty: Spanky diMedici, first night manager of a Taco Bell just off the A11 expressway outside Quaratta. You can still see his name engraved on a plaque that hangs just outside the restaurant’s men’s room: Spanky diMedici, Employee of the Month, October 1497.)
Another line leads back to William “Braveheart” Wallace. Quite ironic, given the fact that I have a propensity for worry.
And I come from a long line of worriers. Indeed, I don’t think I could paint my face blue enough for anyone to look at me and say, “Hey! You must be a descendent of William “Braveheart” Wallace!” (I doubt I could even be mistaken for a member of the Blue Man Group.)
Worry is no fun, to say the least. It sucks the life right of us. For me, a lot of my worry is rooted in uncertainty. Control freaks tend to be worriers (and vice versa). And when we don’t know the outcome of a certain situation, we try to control it. And when we discover we truly have no control, we worry.
Worry is foolish. God is in control of everything. He didn’t just create the universe, set the world a-spin and walk away with a “Best of luck!” He is our sustainer as well. He cares for His creation.
He cares for His children.
In Matthew 6, Jesus makes it explicitly clear that the Lord cares for us and tends to us.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
I love verse 27. While the ESV makes it clear that worry won’t add one second to your life (in fact, just the opposite), it’s the King James rendering – that worry can’t add one cubit to your stature – that really got my attention.
You see, life is filled with circumstances and events and stuff that we have no control over. Some of it is good. Some bad. But even the bad can be made good by God.
We are not called to be in control. We are called to be faithful. We are called to trust in the Lord. We are instructed to cast our cares on Him and walk by faith, not by sight. When we face life, and all its difficulties and adversities and troubles, we have two options: sit and worry, or trust God with the outcome.
Trust God to see us through the storm.
Just trust God no matter how things appear.
When we trust God through hardships and trials, we grow. God grows our faith, makes us stronger. He shows us that He has things well in hand, despite appearances to the contrary. It is in faithfully facing adversity that we grow. When we choose to worry, our growth is stunted.
And, yes, worry is a choice. Perhaps not entirely a conscious one, but it is a choice.
The next time you catch yourself toiling over some situation or problem, don’t let worry overcome your thoughts. Stop. Pray. Remember that God is in control. You don’t need to worry. If you can do something positive about the situation, do it and don’t worry. If it is entirely out of your hands, cast it on the Lord and don’t worry.
Stay in His Word daily. Pray without ceasing. Love others with your whole heart, and know that you are loved.
Now… where did I put that be spray paint?
For more inspirational articles, visit The Bouville Diarist at bouvillediarist.com. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google.