And do not be anxious about anything… – Philippians 4:6a (NIV)
Just as soon as this morning's service ends, Ruth and I are quite literally "out the door." Ordinarily I would be the last one around and I make certain things are all locked up. But not today. For today we need to immediately make our way to the JFK airport, near Queens, New York, to catch a flight that leaves at 6:15 flight. One wrong turn, one flat tire, one case of bumper-to-bumper traffic and we will have a problem making that flight.
Anxiousness. It can creep into our lives at anytime. And sometimes it does over even the smallest of things. I don't about you but I have known what it is to wake up in the middle of the night thinking, "I'm not sure I…" And then, whatever that thing is that I was wondering if I had done it or not…well, it's out of bed and time to check on it. Some may be able to just turn off that inner alarm clock, roll over, and go back to sleep, but not I. How about you?
For me it probably goes back to when I was a young teenager and was awakened, more than once, not by an inner alarm clock but by my dad who came into my bedroom to wake me up to go deal with the horses. Maybe I hadn't fed them, or watered them, or put them in their stalls. But whatever it was I had failed in an area of responsibility and my dad was not one for simply letting it go or for dealing with it himself. He was far more interested in teaching me responsibility than in simply seeing the task be carried out.
The apostle Paul is clear that we are not to be anxious people. Jesus said the same in Matthew chapter 6 when he three times challenged his listeners with the words, "Do not worry." We are not to be worrisome, anxious, anxiety filled people. So what ARE we to do? 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." The Lord knows about our troubles. He knows what is bothering us. So we are to trust in the Lord and take that area of anxiety and give it to him. That doesn't mean, in regards to something we may have failed to take care of (like feed the horses), that we can just forget it and go back to sleep. But assuming we have been responsible…assuming we have been diligent…then after that we are to let it go. Leave it in the Lord's hands. He is our defender and our advocate. He can move mountains and change people's hearts.
Easier said than done? Sure. But that doesn't change the challenge: Do not be anxious about anything.