Lenten Journey Day 33 – Worrying about Tomorrow
We end this fifth week of Lent with a meditation about apprehension, anxiety and worry about the future. Certainly anxiety comes into play when we are confronted with uncertainty. Even more, this coming Sunday is the Sunday of Advent, when we reflect on the second coming, which in its turn produces new anxieties and new worries of tomorrow.
Jesus warns us not to be anxious. He speaks directly against anxiety and against worrying about tomorrow. Anxiety and the fear that causes it are the opposites of faith. If we have faith we have trust. If we have trust then we diminish the power of anxiety and completely submit to God, so that “Thy will be done” will be done in our lives. Of course this is much easier said than done.
Let us look directly at the instruction that is given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Herein is the greatest lesson that we have regarding faith. It comes to us from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Gospel of St. Matthew, quoting Jesus:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…
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?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our Lord Jesus Christ plainly explains that trusting God means to completely submit to His will. It means to allow Him to be God. It means to enjoy the life that He gives us and to fly with the birds, and be clothed like the lilies of the field. Enjoy all that God has given us. It requires us to have complete and total faith in Him, by allowing Him to be Father. Remember, in the old covenant God was known as Lord, but Jesus set up a new relationship, unlike any other, so that we dare to call God, “Father.” Our Father who art in heaven… If we believe He is our Father then as a heavenly Father, He takes care of every single part and aspect of that universe.
Certainly we will always have fears and apprehensions of tomorrow, but we need to diminish them and the only way, the only cure for that is faith. To strengthen our faith, to really look at the examples that He gives us, let us look for all of the examples that are plainly around us. Alongside the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields are the simple smiles of our children, the warm embraces of our loved ones, the monumental signs of the mountains, the crashing waves, the moon and stars, each of them telling us, as Albert Einstein says, “God does not play dice with the universe.” Life has not haphazardly come into being. We are not here by accident. God loves us and takes care of us.
Reduce your anxiety, eliminate your fears and trust in God.
Today we conclude with a prayer from Russian writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: How easy it is for me to live with you, Lord!
How easy it is for me to believe in You!
When my mind is distraught
and my reason fails,
when the cleverest people do not see further
than this evening and do not know
what must be done tomorrow –
that You exist, and that You will take care
that not all the ways of goodness are stopped.
At the height of earthly fame I gaze
with wonder at that path
through hopelessness –
to this point, from which even I have been able to convey
to men some reflection of the light which comes from You.
as much as needs to be done.
And in so far as I do not manage it –
that means that You have allotted the task to others.