Don't Worry be Happy

Text: Matthew 6:20
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (NRSV)

In the culture in which I live, it is often difficult to hear the simple words of Jesus.  I, along with most of the people I know, are always worried about the future.

When we are younger, we often worry about our latest test results in school, what the girl or the boy we like will think of us, our ability to excel in our chosen sport or extracurricular activities.  As we grow older, we worry about our decision to go on to college, start a job, get married, move out of our childhood homes.  And, at my age, worries of caring for our aging parents and the fact that we too are closing in on those not so “golden years” begin to take over our lives.

In all of these stages of life and stages of worry, it is hard to hear the words of Jesus that seem to imply a song lyric that was popular when I was growing up, “Don’t worry, be happy.”  But that is the point.  God created us to enjoy the life God has given us at our creation.  Our worry takes the main point of life away from us.

Just a few verses prior to our verse for today, Jesus asks, “…can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”.  The answer, of course, is no.  In fact, the answer is just the opposite.  Worry is scientifically proven to take away time from our lives.  Worry causes physical damage to our bodies that may never be reversed.  Trust me, I know, as I have personally suffered a recent stress related heart attack.  What, you think I write these devotions with other people in mind?

If we but listen to the simple words of Jesus and realize that our best life is lived in simplicity, then our worries will begin to dissipate.  Simply having what we need, clothing, food, shelter, family, and friends will be enough.  The basics require very little effort and allow us to focus on what are the most important things in life; enjoying the life God has given us by loving God with all that we are and our neighbor as ourselves.

Pray with me:

Jesus, it is so hard to hear your words of simplicity among the world’s shouts for excess.  Help me to live in such a way that my concerns for success, as the world defines it, are transformed into the joy of the simple life you have ordained for us all.  AMEN.
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