It’s still early in the morning as I write this. In my part of the world, it’s dark outside right now. The only sounds I hear are the click of my keyboard as I type, and the occasional sipping of coffee as I drink from one of my favorite mugs. Everything is still. All feels normal right now, in this quietness. But I know that as the sun comes up, I’m going to quickly be reminded—by everything and everyone—that the time we are living in is anything but normal. I’m trying not to worry while dealing with uncertainty.
Yes, we’re in an unprecedented time, and there are still so many unknowns. It can be overwhelming. There are plenty of valid fears to feel right now. There are lives at stake around the world, and each day things change rapidly, sometimes hour to hour. Feeling anxious during these times is a normal, human response. But God isn’t calling us to live in that anxiety.
Now, more than ever, I’ve been dwelling on the words of Jesus, especially the words He spoke when He gave His Sermon on the Mount to a large crowd:
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NASB
That quote pulled me into the Bible, and I began reading the chapter that those words came from. In the sixth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, starting at verse 25, there’s a subheading in the version I’m reading. It says, “The Cure for Anxiety.” I felt like God was smiling at me, and saying, “Go ahead, read on.” So I did. Here’s what Jesus had to say to this crowd of worried people who’d gathered for some good news:
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:26-27 NASB
But wait, there’s more …
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ … for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 NASB
There’s so much in there that brings me comfort. God reminds us that He cares about us more than we can imagine. He reminds us that worrying doesn’t add time to our lives. And He gives us a simple directive: Focus on today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.
Here are some ways I’m choosing not to worry, by focusing on today:
When I begin to worry about my kids—about their future, their school, their minds as they’re trapped in the house all day—I take a breath. I pray, “God, You love my kids more than I could ever imagine. How can I love them like You today?” And then I sit with my daughter, and I answer her endless questions, and I watch her color, and I watch her dance, and I remind myself that I won’t always have the ability to spend this much time with her. I hold my son, and I take a few extra attempts at getting him to walk (he’s so close). I thank God for this day, because I’m with them, and they’re with me.
When I begin to worry about my finances—about our bank account, how much is left, how long it will last, retirement—I pause. I pray, “God, You care for the birds of the sky enough to provide for their needs each day, and You care about us so much more than that. Help me to trust that You will meet our needs today.” And then I stop looking at my bank account. Instead, I look at the food in our pantry. I become extra grateful for the bite that I’m taking. I appreciate the blanket that’s keeping me warm. I think of the ways that we can be smart with our resources today. I thank God for showing me how to be more thoughtful in how I consume, and it’s drawing me closer to His heart.
When I begin to worry about getting sick—about what that means, what quarantine would look like, about my loved ones getting infected—I stop. I pray, “God, You are the ultimate healer. You can work miracles, and I believe You’re actively working to cure our world right now. I believe You’re divinely working through the countless doctors and nurses and scientists around the world who are bringing care to the sick and working to prevent more people from getting sick. I believe You’re giving them energy, inspiration, and comfort as they do what You’ve been preparing them to do. Today, Lord, I thank You for my health, and the health of my family. If the day comes when I get sick, I know You will be right there with me. And You’ll walk me through it with love and peace, as only You can.” And then I take a breath, and I thank God for that breath. It’s a gift.
So what about you? What will you do today? Will you stay paralyzed in the fear of the unknown, thinking on worry after worry, adding no time to your life? Or, when you’re dealing with uncertainty, will you pause, take a breath, and go to God with your anxiety, leaving your fears at His feet? Will you then get up and embrace this day? Because you are needed. Even at home, the world needs you.
You can bring encouragement to someone today, through a phone call or text message. Maybe you now have the time to help an elderly neighbor get their groceries. Or, perhaps you can find community and bring God’s love and encouragement to others around the world at Church Online. Maybe today, what you can do is simply be present with the ones you’re with. Maybe today, you just listen for God’s voice. I think you’ll hear Him tell you that you’re needed and known, by Him and by others. Today, more than ever.
I just paused to look out on my back porch. The sun is beginning to rise, and the birds have begun chirping.
“Lord, thank You for today. Help me to do all I can today, for tomorrow will care for itself. Amen.”