Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 8: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Luke 12:25). In His Word, Jesus posed this question to His disciples. As I meditated on the question, and as I reflected on all the things I worry about, I realized that worrying is like squandering my life on borrowed time.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes?” -Matthew 6:25 (NIV)
It is believed that the robin, also known as the divine bird, pictured, is symbolic of good fortune and a reminder that spring is on the way. It is also said that a flying robin represents renewal, passion, new beginnings, patience, and even wisdom. This theory had me thinking of the robin that perched on the flower pot just outside my home office window early one morning, as I was settling in for my daily time with the Lord.
The morning was overcast. As I sat and gazed out the window admiring God’s creation and sipping my coffee, here comes this beautiful robin taking its rest right before my eyes. I was amazed at the sudden peace and joy I felt as I watched its every move. For a good while, it flew all over the lawn and on the driveway picking at whatever it found, only God knows.
As I observed the robin’s carefree nature, I was reminded of what Jesus said about worry in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” I was convicted in that moment because while the dawn of a new day welcomed me with God’s glorious creation (Psalm 19.:1), I was yet tempted to worry about the underlying concerns of a new job and God’s plans for my future. In His providence, I believe God used the robin to remind me of His everlasting provisions and unconditional love for me. In that moment, I realized the robin was God’s way of speaking to me. God communicates to us in different ways. This is just one of the ways, I believe, He used to get my attention that morning. Now, if it takes a robin for me to hear God, so let it be!
What is it today that is stealing your joy, your sleep, and even your peace? Is it the current world crisis, financial challenges, health and family demands, the past, or your future? Allow me to pry a bit further; when you worry, do the things you worry about seem to get better, and do you tend to feel energetic, inspired, full of life, and ready to conquer the world? If your answer to any of those questions is a resounding no, then you must conclude, as I did, that worrying is a waste of the precious gift of time, which is, by the way, not guaranteed and is given to each of us for only a brief moment (James 4:13-14).
Here is another thought based on Scripture. In the Bible, Moses, who is referred to as the “man of God” prayed: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Let that sink deep into the recesses of your mind for a moment. If Moses, the “man of God” prayed for God to make him aware of the brevity of life and to give him a discerning heart, then we have to reason that life is short, and because it is so temporary, all the fuss and worry are a tragic waste of life.
When we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith….”(Hebrews 12:2), we’re less likely to worry about the issues of life. In his commentary on Moses’ prayer, Dr. Tony Evans of The Urban Alternative wrote, “Let us implore God with this same prayer. Ask the Lord to make the brevity of life sink into your soul, so that you are convicted to make godly choices during your short stay on earth. Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once.” I love this insight from the “Tony Evans Bible Commentary” because it really speaks truth into my life when it comes to worry. How will I invest the coin of life that God has entrusted me? Will I use it to worry about things out of my control or will I spend it wisely on eternal investments? I daily make a conscious decision to invest what little time I’ve left on earth in the things of God.
Every moment of every day we have a choice of how we will spend our time. We can either use it on worry, fear, anxiety, and stress, or we can use it to gain a heart of wisdom and store up treasures in heaven that will never fail, where no thief can come near, and no moth can destroy (Luke 12:33). Every time I choose to worry and notice I said “choose” because it is a decision we consciously make when we allow worry to control our thinking. It doesn’t happen haphazardly.
When worry comes knocking, I’m reminded of the Serenity Prayer, which for centuries has brought so much comfort and peace to the hearts of so many. It’s one of my favorite prayers. I keep a copy of it in my car for inspiration. Incidentally, find something that renews your mind, and make it visible to you so you can see it every day and be inspired. Whatever you are worrying about today, let it go, and let these comforting words of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer bless your heart.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
“Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.” – John Piper
Pictures by shutterstock.com