DON’T WORRY, BE HOPEFUL Matthew 6:31-34 New International Version (NIV)

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.

Luke 12:29-32 New International Version (NIV)

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Ok, I get it-DON’T WORRY ABOUT FOOD, WATER, CLOTHES, MONEY…  I also included the Luke scripture because sometimes I tend to overlook things unless I am told several times.  Jesus, I think also knows that sometimes we don’t pay attention to what we are told & that it takes telling & re-telling before we finally get it.  I remember in Speech class back in High School that my teacher said “Tell them what you are going to tell them; Tell them and then Tell them what you told them.”  Jesus is doing that in Matthew and in Luke.  Just in the 3 verses of Matthew he says do not worry twice!  If you go back to yesterday’s verses in Matthew, He uses worry 3 more times and do not worry once more.  That is 6 worries & 3 do not worries in 10 short verses (Matthew 6:25-34).  Then in Luke another do not worry.

Like I said I GET IT!  Well maybe not.  As Pastor said on Sunday there is a difference between hearing it, believing it and acting on it.  I think that I get the first 2 (Hearing and Believing).  It’s that third one (Acting) that I sometimes have a difficulty with.   I know that I should not worry; Jesus tells me not to worry (4 times!); I believe that I should not worry and yet I sometimes find myself worrying!

My wife (Cindy) thought that it was rather humorous or ironic that God through our Pastor assigned me this scripture.  I tried to tell her that I don’t worry.  She came back with that I am always planning what I am doing tomorrow, or what I have to do in the next few days, week or month.  I like to think that is because I am organized.  But then that’s me trying to follow my plan instead of GOD’S PLAN.  That is me thinking that I am in control of what the rest of the day, week, month and beyond will bring.  SILLY ME!

Can I control the drought, economy, terrorism, high energy costs, Wall Street?  Obviously not!  So why worry?  Why be irritable, angry, fatigued, stressed?  For what purpose?  I know that I can’t control any of those things.  Yet somehow, I think that I can plan ahead and not just wait for God’s plan to unfold.

However, I do think that there is a difference in being concerned and being worried.  I went to my Granddaughter’s birthday on Sunday and I was trying to constantly watch my granddaughter and grandson to make sure they didn’t wander off or get hurt.  If I didn’t worry about that, then what kind of “Grumps” (that’s my name that they call me, I have no idea where that came from) would I be?  I go to the Doctor and get my annual physical and do my 5 year colonoscopy.  I can try to take care of myself (that is what I do have control over), but I can’t worry about whether I am going to get cancer, have a heart attack…  God wants us to be prudent and do things that we have control over.  But Jesus tells us NOT TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER. 

HE says “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all things will be given to you as well.”  So why worry?  Remember the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?  I think it might be paraphrased to Don’t Worry, Be Hopeful.

I have heard it. I continue to believe it, now I need to act!  Or rather not act, not worry.  I am going to try.  Will you help me?  I would love to hear from you and how you handle this Do Not Worry thing.

Father, Please help me to be concerned about what I have control of and not worry about the majority of the things that I have no control over.  Please remind me that I am not in charge!  It’s your plan, not mine and that you will provide my daily bread.  Help me to live and enjoy each day on this earth, not worrying about tomorrow.  In Christ’s Name, I pray Amen.