09.09.14 " Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" ~ Jesus

Matthew 6:25-34 25 “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? 26 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? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I really love this passage.  What awesome reassurance to know that we are so greatly loved by the CREATOR of the Universe.  It is so easy to get caught up in the rush and anguish over things so not in our control.  My very best friend and I communicate at least twice a year.  Our birthdays…we were born 11 days apart, in the same hospital, same delivery room, same doctor.  I’m the oldest and when it works to my advantage I let him know it.  When it worked to his advantage he’d also let me know it.  We grew up together, grade school through high school only separating during college and then still hooking up (as the kids say) whenever possible.  Christmas or New Years was the other event that inspired us to connect.  This New Year, 2014 was very special for him.  He declared he was finally going to retire.  This was it.  My friend could have retired at least five years ago, but he explained things weren’t quite right.  He had at that time just remarried and he had plans of building or buying their retirement dream home.  He wanted to accomplish this and pay for it all at the time of his retirement.  No debt, no worries.  Good bye tension, hello pension.  He was very excited because he could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I spoke with him again in early February ahead of our usual schedule.  During a routine annual check-up the doctors had discovered a spot on one of his lungs.  Within just a few short weeks our worst fears were realized, it was cancer.  Suddenly everything changed.  Our now more frequent communications were more deliberate and meaningful.  At first we tried to avoid talking about the possibility of us not doing all that stuff in retirement we’d plan to do together.  The instinct is to fight and avoid the negative.  We all make plans to live.  But even though we still laughed about the stupid stuff we did growing up and still wanted to do, we found ourselves talking more about the future, a future beyond those feeble little earthly plans we made.  We began to talk more about eternity and how silly it was to worry so much about the little things we consumed our days with.

My best friend retired earlier than expected on June 30, 2014.   Less than a month later on July 22, 2014 he stepped into eternity.   No more debt, no more worries, peace in the mighty arms of GOD.

Almighty CREATOR of the universe, thank YOU so much for best friends, good times, and the opportunity to learn and share what is really valuable in our earthly walk.  Thank YOU for spelling it out so beautifully for us in YOUR word and in the lives of those we love.  Thank YOU most of all for sending YOUR SON to secure eternity for us.  In CHRIST name we pray, Amen!

Jim L.