Thinking toward a New Year and reflecting back on the past year, I take stock of my daily walk with Christ. Of the many, many truths that He has taught me during 2007, one truth in particular resonates with me, and that is to stop worrying. During the past months of writing two books, I learned much more about trusting the words of the Lord in Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV), excerpted here.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store way in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
It seems that no matter how much I’ve learned in the past about not worrying, there is always more to learn. I’ve learned that because worrying is one of those “human things,” it’s also one of those things that I have to give to the Lord over and over again. Despite my knowing for certain that He will provide for all of my needs, I still periodically fall back into my old habit of worrying about people, projects, and plans.
Most recently, I learned that when I worry, I lose focus on Jesus. When I fill up my mind with concern about a project or a task, there is no room for Him. And, predictably, I go my way instead of His way. And it’s at the end of “my” road that I need Him to step in and fix my mess. I’ve learned that if I stay on-focus with Jesus, all that I would otherwise worry about never becomes an issue of concern.
I’m reminded that it’s my job, my life’s work, to follow Jesus. The more I follow, the more my heart becomes like His heart. That change of heart represents true change, not simply a rote reminder to follow Him, but rather a change in who I am and how I respond to all of life’s experiences.
I’ve also been reminded that it’s not the approval of others that I work for, but rather I work for His approval—and that changes everything. The Lord reminded me that, “I didn’t call you to follow the crowd. I called you to follow Me.” Enough said. Human approval—whether it’s from the editor reviewing my latest book, or approval from my friends—means nothing in the Kingdom of God. What means everything is doing all work as unto Him.
I’m reminded that when I let go of my worries and minor obsessions and give them to the Lord, that He will give those situations back to me with His victory. Every time I give Him my worries, I can watch in awe as His perfect purpose is accomplished.
And most of all, I’ve learned again that on other side of worry is His perfect peace—now and always. Could I ask for more?
Wishing you a closer walk with Jesus Christ in 2008.