I have something I planned to write on today but it’s requiring more research than I expected
so it’s on the back burner for later this week. So today we’re talking about seeking. You all know the little campfire song, “Seek Ye First”. We’ve probably all sung that at church camps around the world. In my youth group we did it in round format with harmonies. It was beautiful. It also comes straight from Matthew 6. This really is a comforting passage, and I’ll include it at the end. Or no, I’ll include it right here:
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? Look 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? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But 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? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We’re all a little worried right now about getting supplies and about staying healthy, what with President Trump extending the social distancing guidelines for another four weeks. And my goodness it is horrifying how many the world has lost so far. 33,000 deaths so far. And it gets closer to home every day. Even our little church on Hwy 38 in the middle of a field has been touched by the illness.
But here in Matthew, Christ gives us words of deep comfort. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” I’ve battled anxiety and depression for years. It’s a chemical imbalance in me. Even with medication it sometimes gets the better of me, especially recently with all the stress I’ve been under since my near-death in Oct 2017. I take a problem and worry it to bits better than anyone I know. But this verse, well this verse takes all the punch out of it. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” It bears repeating. What does it do for me to worry so much about how I’m going to pay the bills, settle Mom’s estate, keep my job, enable Buddy to retire some day? It gets me headaches and tears and ages me. But does it answer the problems listed above? Of course not. Because it’s NOT IN MY HANDS. (Which I did just wash…with soap and water…for at least 20 seconds.)
Again, as my pastor says, “Don’t hear what I’m not saying.” I’m not saying it’s not good to be concerned over those things. To just flit along not dealing with any of it and expecting it to come out roses is foolish. Be concerned. Plan. Be good stewards. But realize that in the end it’s NOT IN YOUR (freshly washed) HANDS. It’s all in God’s hands. If you pry your not-grubby little fingers off your cares and cast them at His feet He has already taken the burden on.
And then, after that, as your pray for yourselves and your families, as you thank God for the blessing of His daily provision, and for the privilege of being cared for by God, pray for your pastor also. He carries the burden of care for his family just as we all do for ours, but he also carries the burden of every single one of his church family and their extended families. He feels a driving need to connect with his flock. And he, like every one of us, has trouble casting that care at God’s feet. He is human too. So when you pray, pray for him too, for strength and endurance especially now. Pray that he will realize his shoulders don’t have to be so broad to carry the burden, he just has to give it all to God, as we all do.
I leave you with the last verse of this passage, once again: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” These are the words of the Son of the Living God. What more could we want?
I was looking for the Maranatha version I like, in round version with the harmonies like we used to sing it, but couldn’t find it. But since I’m sort of going through my Acoustic Gen phase right now, I really liked this version. So please enjoy.