Jesus said, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious about itself...”
— Matthew 6:34a (USC)
Jesus doesn’t say, “Don’t worry.” He might otherwise say, “Be concerned only for the right things.”
We have to get our contexts right so far as distress is concerned. It frankly isn’t fair to preach a gospel of righteousness and peace and not give people an out so far as dealing with the anxieties common to life.
Anxiety is common to life.
Let’s get that straight to begin with.
The Hope of the world made a way for us to get through, worries intact, dignifying our cares, and even vouchsafing them. Our Lord walks with us in our trials. He tackles with us the challenges that all but break us. And having himself been broken — having himself been tormented with many disparate anxieties — the final hours of his life, a testimony to that truth — Jesus is our ideal companion through the myriad trials and snares common to life.
The commonality of existence is anxiety ranging from bliss to torment.
Talking in ways of reality — the intrepid nature of change in life, the threats of loss, the massive complexities implicit in our relationships, not to mention the ever-prevailing demands of life — and there are many more causes — we can only hope to get through, indeed thrive, by relying on a Lord who has been there, and overcome.
Jesus wants us to know that he understands the real concerns we have. He doesn’t begrudge us the experience of anxiety without his empathy. But where our concerns merge into the vanity of ‘stuff’ and we find ourselves wedded to the superficial, Jesus’ Spirit will rebuke us.
So for some anxieties we have the Lord’s intention of care; his promise of journeying with us, he who will be our relief the moment we draw freshly upon his Presence.
For other anxieties, Jesus will challenge their veracity. To be concerned about what we will graze on and how we look is a folly of superficiality. Jesus wants us to work beyond these petty aims for comfort. Let the Lord be our comfort.
Consider Jesus’ yoke light in the midst of life’s real anxieties. Consider Jesus’ burden easy in the midst of life’s true cares. He who will never leave us nor forsake us will carry us lightly and make our journeys just a little easier.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. Where has Jesus come through already so far as alleviating the common concern of life?
2. If you haven’t yet experienced such a thing, how can you pray for such an experience?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.