Scripture: Matthew 6: 25-33 Passion Translation
25 “This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing?
26 “Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? 27 So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?[a]
28 “And why would you worry about your clothing? Look at all the beautiful flowers of the field. They don’t work or toil, 29 and yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was robed in beauty more than one of these! 30 So if God has clothed the meadow with hay, which is here for such a short time and then dried up and burned, won’t he provide for you the clothes you need—even though you live with such little faith?
31 “So then, forsake your worries! Why would you say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For that is what the unbelievers chase after. Doesn’t your heavenly Father already know the things your bodies require?[b]
33 “So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
I wrote a book, titled “Be Not Anxious” in 2011. It was based on this scripture. It is all about the emotions of Love and Fear, how they create different behaviors in us and ways to conquer the spirit of fear. If we remember that Jesus’ Bible was the Old Testament, we then understand that in this passage He was expanding and expounding on Ps 23:1. What I learned during the past year was simply that “the peace that passeth all understanding” (Phil 4:7) was what I craved more than any material things or anything that money could buy. I wanted peace in the absence of my now absent love, husband and friend. I wanted peace that allowed me to not be an awful example to my family and friends and I wanted the peace that would still allow me to grieve with authenticity yet never deny the power of God! And here is the thing about Philippians 4:7…the peace that comes from drawing closer to Jesus and hiding yourself in Him, is not understandable in the face of circumstances (or un-believers) who might tell us we are not being practical.
So what is my second piece of instruction when you find yourself in the wilderness of loss? Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8 I learned that I could not make it through the wilderness being ‘double-minded’… believing God’s report in one hour and the report of my fear the next. And the Old Testament precursor to this scripture is “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” Ps 73:28.
Thank you so much for reading this Blog series. If you are not going through a ‘wilderness’ experience, perhaps you may get prepared for your own or the opportunity to counsel someone else in theirs. Loss is a part of living. Please share this series with your friends!