“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34
In the center of our Lord’s wonderful Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cuts open human anxiety before administering mercy like a skillful cardiologist cuts a sick heart before surgically repairing it. We become anxious over things in our life. Food, drink, clothing. Basics of survival. Jesus said, “the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (vs 32). God has mercy for His creatures. Birds of the air are gathered by His hands and fed. Unbelievers strive for basic necessities for life, and God still cares for them.
Why do I become anxious? I think Jesus calls me out when He says, “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his lifespan” (vs. 27)? Our mortal lives are so fragile. What if the things that make life enjoyable are stripped from me? When paycheck-to-paycheck living catches up, and a home or car repair costs more than what is in my checking account, what then? Birds do not have barns, yet God feeds them.
Anxiety does not put food in the pantry, money in the bank, or a minute more to my lifespan. So, I am faced with a decision in the morning: will I take hold of today with anxious fear or with a settled trust in God who values me more than sparrows? What if I hold loosely to my plans in life standing ready to abandon plans with a heart joyful to God’s disruptions rather than anxious (or even angry) that my day will not turn out like I wanted?
We have fragile mortal bodies and live in an unpredictable and doubtful world. I need Christ’s merciful reminder daily that anxiety is more poisonous to my heart than I care to admit. Not only will anxiety drive me to try and control things in my life, I will also view other people with suspicion. Anxiety does not encourage trust in God, only plunders the treasures of joy and peace in my heart. No longer am I trusting God at that moment nor am I pleasant company.
“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus is right. There are enough troubles today to be worried about. In the morning, I pray for faith to see His mercies anew each morning. Lord, provide the needed mercies sufficient for the unseen troubles of today. “Seek first,” commands my Lord. Whatever loss I have on earth will not compare to enjoying Him in His everlasting Kingdom (II Corinthians 4:17). Even when I die, Christ’s Kingdom, clothing, food, drink, and life will be added to me (vs.33).
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we take our lives into our own weak hands rather than trust in Your able and mighty hands. Apply Your merciful peace to our anxious hearts and give Your people rest. Our lives and homes are in Your trustworthy hands. As we cast our burdens upon You, Lord lift these burdens and grant to us Your grace and peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.