“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Matthew 6:34 ESV
Jesus now brings this section on anxiety and worry to a close by reminding us of the freedom we have in Christ through all the many promises that he has presented beforehand. I have heard this singular verse spoken to me and others as if it is a cure-all for every person who is struggling with anxiousness. We want to take this ending point of the previous paragraph’s teaching and make it a commandment to coldly lay at the feet of people as an ideal. Notice that Jesus is not laying down a list of commands before the crowd he is speaking to. He has just spent time working through the rationale and understanding necessary to reach this conclusion. We too should take the time to understand all these truths and incorporate them into our daily walk. As we do, we will then be able to battle anxiety about tomorrow and focus on the daily bread provided for our living this life today.
I find myself caught in a cyclical trap of telling myself not to be anxious, but never reminding myself of all the truths that Jesus mentions in this paragraph. I want to hold this out as a simple commandment to not be anxious and I expect myself to just stop being anxious. I don’t generally understand that my anxiousness is flowing out of my unsettled heart that is clinging to anything and everything that is not Jesus. I am blind to the false anchors that keep me rooted in self-reliance and illusionary strength. The reason I am anxious and worry about tomorrow is that I want to be in control of my life and I am continually bashed over the head with the reality of life that proves otherwise.
Jesus is calling me to give up these false anchors of self-reliance. Jesus wants me to walk in humility and weakness fully dependent on my great Savior. He wants me to look around and see the tremendous care and love that the Father has for the world around me (birds and plants) and embrace the understanding that I am of much more immense value to him. This is the heart of the matter for me.
My deepest heart struggle is the belief that I am of little importance or value. I minimize and diminish the love of God for me because I see so little value in myself. My devaluation leads me to misunderstand the love of God for me. Since I often think of myself as small and insignificant or of little value, my mind struggles to embrace the knowledge that God loves me completely and fully. I feel that I must earn the love that God has for me and I turn my life into a scale measuring out the deeds that please God and the deeds that displease him. This scale becomes the arbiter of how my spiritual walk is progressing.
The mark I am often missing is that the Father loves me simply because he chooses to love me. He doesn’t choose to love me based on anything within myself. He loves me because he is the embodiment of love. His love for me far surpasses my understanding and capabilities. His love for me is more vast than the universe itself.
This is the understanding of love that I need to embrace and rest my anxious heart in at all times. Worry and anxiety will always arise in my life as the enemy of my soul desires to see me embrace anything other than Jesus. The counter to the continual rising of anxiousness is a daily reminder to stop and look around at the world of creation. To stop and marvel at the love and care shown to the creatures and plants I see. To let the birds of the air call to mind the rich love the Father has for me. To daily seek him with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. To not let the wonders of God being worked in my life become routine and redundant but to see the rich mercies of the Lord that are new every morning. To wake up each day and say to the Lord, “Let’s do it again!”