Don’t Worry, Be Happy

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches.”  -Psalm 104:12

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  – Matthew 6:26

I was sitting in my living room before I left for work this morning and was listening to the birds.  They were chirping away as if singing their own praises to our Most High God. I was reminded of the scripture that says He even feeds His animals daily. They never store up. They never worry. They always have food and shelter. We have to keep our head up and our fear down. God provides and takes care of His children.  An entire paragraph in Matthew chapter 6 is devoted to the concept of “not worrying”. Our human nature wants to fix everything ourselves. That is impossible and will only end in disappointment. We must look higher than ourselves.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Sincerely Disappointed

Nothing feels worse to me than when someone lets you down. Of course that subject can span many other details including lieing, cheating, abandonment, and countless others. As people, we try hard to do what we can to gain trust and accountability with others which in turn builds friendships and relationships. I’m dealing with this as we speak. I have tried so hard to try and ignore the signs but I just can’t anymore. It breaks my heart to know that what I see on my end of the relationship is either (1) not what this other person sees or (2) not what this person is choosing to see. I’m not sure where the “line” is that separates the two options but it exists nonetheless. I think I would rather someone choose option (1) than to know they are ON PURPOSE choosing to act the way they are. At least if it’s option (1), you can talk about it and fix it. (Lord Willing!)

But what happens when they are choosing option (2)? Do I let this person go and relinquish any relationship I have with them? Do I choose option (2) as well and just “choose to ignore” what is happening and just not build any further on this relationship? Or do I add an option (3)… Have a conversation with this person (call them on the carpet if you will) and then leave it in their hands to decide the fate of this relationship.

I’m really heartbroken over this. My heart just wants to cry and scream because of the surrounding details and the position it has left me in. The details of this relationship are so inner woven in my life it makes things even harder. I know the first thing I must do is ask for forgiveness for the bitterness I hold. It’s not easy by any means. In fact, I really don’t want to… but I must. God says in 1 Kings 8:50:

“And forgive Your people, who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions against You, and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have pity and be merciful to them…”

If we go on to read in scripture it even addresses the mere THOUGHTS I think about this person, not only what is said verbally: “Behold my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins [of thinking and doing].” – Psalm 25:18 (Amplified Version) This speaks more than anything to me because it’s so easy to get thoughts in my head and work myself up about things.

After my bitterness is under control I know it’s time for some deep seeded prayer. Maybe that is all I can do in the end? Regardless of how things turn out – I have to know BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT – I handled everything correctly as God would see fit. If I meet that requirement, everything else will play out accordingly.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”- Philippians 4:6-7

The End Of Today Makes No Tomorrow

When life is changing and all of a sudden you see a chance for what has been comfortable to you for years become uncomfortable you tend to get nervous. Your heart starts to race, your head is going a million miles an hour because you are uncertain of things to come. How will it affect you? How will it affect your family? Your lifestyle? Your ability to just function in the daily things you have to do? This is when it’s time for some overtime on our knees.

To begin with… God says not to be anxious or nervous. By feeding these emotions we are not trusting in Him.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Instead we are to lean on Him for understanding even through times when you can’t possibly understand how it’s going to work… HE will make it work. David speaks in Psalms about trusting in the Lord.

Psalm 33:21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

Psalm 32:10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 22:8 He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

God also gives strict instructions to not worry. Scripture talks about God providing for His birds and animals… we are so much more than an animal – therefore, why would we ever think He wouldn’t provide for us? As people – we have a tendency to try to provide for ourselves, thinking we always have it figured out. But it never works out perfectly as we plan. Instead a wrench is always thrown into the plans which makes us feel like our world is going to end tomorrow. This places stress on us that interferes with relationships such as spouses or children, it causes us to change our focus on what is REALLY important to what WE THINK is important, and numerous others side effects.

Matthew 6: Do Not Worry (NIV Version)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 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.

The point of this? Don’t worry about what is going to happen in the future. As long as you know in your heart you are doing all you can to please the Lord – and do HIS will – then He will provide. He might choose to provide even though you didn’t listen to Him when He told you to do something… which is grace. He knows we are not perfect and will mess up. The gift of Christ dieing for us is His grace when we screw up.  But don’t abuse this grace. God is a jealous God and HE will not have someone putting things before Him. If you are – you might see things not going your way – which is HIM trying to get your attention. If you are putting work before your time with Him – you might notice you don’t get as much work, or perhaps the jobs you are getting are stressing you out, or perhaps your focus is on how much money you can make. Turn your focus to Him and spend the time you should be spending with Him and notice the jobs are easier to get through, or there are more job opportunities available, people are overloading your phone with needs for you to fill and profit from.

He takes care of those that lean on Him. He takes care of those that sacrifice time to spend with Him. He loves His children and wants nothing more than to see them aspire to what He created us for. But when you are focused on YOUR desires instead of HIS desires it doesn’t work out.

Are you doing what He wants you to do? Or are you focused on yourself?