Jesus’ Answer to Anxiety

25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

-Matthew 6:25-32

I am a father. On August 21, 2015, my wife gave birth to our first child, our daughter Anna. Seeing my daughter born was one of the most – if not the most – exciting moments of my life. It may also have been the most terrifying.  Being responsible for an utterly helpless, completely dependent child has changed the way that I see the world. My wife and I are no longer solely concerned with providing for our own needs. We now have both the responsibility and honor of taking care of a child – in a world that is different from the world I grew up in.

How can I protect her without being overprotective? In what ways will my character affect her – both positively and negatively? What will this world be like in twenty years, or even forty years? Will she come to know and love Christ? These new questions are without answers, and they have lead to new worries that I’ve struggled to learn to deal with.

This led me to the passage above, and particularly the beginning verse 25 and the ending verse 33. In verse 25, Jesus gives us the seemingly unreasonable command not to worry.  Really? Don’t worry? It’s helpful to read on to understand where He’s going with this.

You will notice that the things Jesus mentions not to worry about are needs not wants. In fact, He mentions nothing about our wants. In this, Jesus is telling us that God will provide for our needs but He may not provide for our wants. So Jesus asks us to trust Him, calling us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”.

What does that look like for me and my worries about my family? My natural response is spend my energies creating a safe environment to protect Anna – to keep her safe, to protect her from “bad” things (however we may define that), and to make sure her financial needs are provided for. But ultimately I know that won’t give her what she needs most deeply. True security comes from God, from trusting God and seeking Him. I need to learn to be faithful to Him, and to become a God-honoring husband and father. In doing so, I hope that I will learn to trust that God will take care of the needs of my family.

Blog post written by Ryan Satrom, 2016

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