Lately, God has been teaching me a lot about stress. I’m someone that can easily feel stressed. Maybe this is because I’m a person who likes to plan and feel organized, and when things don’t go “according to the plan,” it’s easy to stress or worry. To worry if things will turn out the way I think they should.
But God has been reminding me that stress is NOT a good thing. Stress is something that can limit the joy and peace he wants to give us. In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus tells us pretty directly not to give room for worry.
In day-to-day planning and life, I can easily get caught up in stress. Day-to-day needs or interactions seem to present “worries” that often fill my head. I often notice this worries starting with “what if” questions.
“What if I don’t have enough money this month?”
“What if this doesn’t turn out the way it should?”
“What if I get sick?”
“What if this person doesn’t like me?”
You see how easy these questions and unrealistic situations develop. These “what-if” questions generally cause worry about things that will never even happen, causing unnecessary stress!
In Matthew 6, Jesus says “not to worry about your life, what you will drink or eat, or your body, what you will wear.” For me, this is a tangible reminder that God sees my life down to the daily necessities. If the creator of the universe tells me that he will provide for my daily food and clothing, why do I waste time and energy worrying? Jesus also reminds us that worrying does no good; we certainly can’t add any time to our lives by worrying (Matthew 6:27), so why do we spend so much time doing this?
Not only does God tell us that he will provide for our needs, but he tells us why: because we are valuable to him. He isn’t just providing for our needs because he has to or out of obligation, but because he is a loving Father and Creator! As his children, we are made in his image, and he wants to provide for our needs, no matter how big or small.
“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6: 25-27