We all live by a narrative that is unfolding within us and around us. In the simplest of understanding, it’s the way in which we see things.
The narrative of worry is the internal story of scarcity, worst-case scenarios and confusion.
Worry knocks on the doors of our hearts and lives no matter our gender, age bracket, tax bracket, color, culture or class. It has knocked on the human heart from near the beginning of time. Worry is a universal reality.
The story of worry wants us to buy into the lie that we can’t handle the ‘what if’s’ that await around the corner in life. It paints the future as scary. Worry grows in a culture of fear. It wants us to feel we are woefully unprepared and thus we must suffer the weight of worry and the burden it wants to impose upon our life. The unknown is unrelenting and it must be negative and therefore it is very overwhelming. Worry exaggerates our small concerns into giant obstacles. And worry left unchecked leads to a defeated heart.
That’s the imposing and intrinsic narrative of worry.
But friends, there is another story that is alive and well. A story of hope that pushes back against the doom and gloom of worry. It’s the narrative of an attentive, capable and good father…
It’s the narrative that Jesus is wanting his followers to live by and with. Fueled by this story to infuse their hearts with a hope that fights back against approaching anxiety.
It’s a narrative that undergirds a fresh sense of wonder and soulful rest. It’s a God truth that can foster a quiet confidence in Him that transforms how we live and engage in this world.
It’s the narrative of our attentive Heavenly Father. One who is aware of you. One who cares for you. One who’s heart is already inclined toward your best. A father’s heart that is predisposed toward your good and one who is capable of meeting your needs.
Read this passage and listen for the new narrative of God’s attentive heart toward you…
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Would it change the story you live by if you truly lived with the assurance that your Good Heavenly Father already knows your needs?
Wouldn’t it change everything if we lived by the reality that worry doesn’t have to be the domineering narrative of our lives?
As followers of Jesus, as people saved and sealed by Christ, – we can live with a hope in our Good God who is aware and not aloof. That we can actually trust in our attentive Father who is already alerted to what is going on around us and within us.
When worry comes knocking on your door – you can learn you don’t have to answer it.
We can worry less, by asking more. Engaging in prayer to the ONE who promises to care for us so we don’t have to carry the weight of worry in any circumstance. The one who supplies a peace that can carry us no matter the circumstance.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Worry magnifies our problems. Prayer magnifies our God.
Jesus and the scriptures are trying to point us to a NEW narrative – a truer narrative. It’s not a prosperity gospel, it’s a reality of the gospel. The Good News that Jesus brings. It heralds the narrative of a Good Father who already knows and has the clarity, capacity and character to respond. He can meet your needs.
He does. He will.
So our hearts can rest and simply reply: “Thank you Father. Help me to seek your will, your ways and trust you with the rest.”
*if you want to watch my sermon on Jesus And Worry, click here