With all that’s happening in our world currently with the spread of COVID-19, there’s one thing I know for sure:
Panic, fear and anxiety are spreading faster than the virus!
Usually when we’re faced with uncertainty and lack of control, we start to worry. When our lives become unpredictable, it’s human nature to slip into anxious thinking.
When negative news consumes the media and we continually see the death numbers rise, fear rises even higher.
I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to align my mind with truth and words of hope.
In Matthew 6:25-34, we find Jesus speaking to a crowd. He’s just laid a foundation of where their true treasure can be found. It’s not in possessions or money. But in God alone.
Then right after that he assures us why we should not worry and gives examples of questions one would ask IF they were in a state of worry.
What will we eat?
What will we drink?
What will we wear?
These questions refer to necessary items. No luxuries (non-essentials) are mentioned.
Our current questions in the midst of a world pandemic might look like this:
What will I do now that I’ve lost my job?
Will I have enough food to last through quarantine?
What if I get the virus?
Where will I buy toilet paper?
The response Jesus gives to these questions should grab our attention. His response then is still his response now.
Why do you worry, oh you of little faith?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
For the world runs after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them.
Jesus emphasizes that worry will do nothing for us. It will not add anything. It will bring more stress. More panic.
When he says the world runs after all these things, I automatically think of long lines outside grocery stores where people are ready to race to the toilet paper shelves, knocking down whoever gets in their way!
I’ve seen multiple social media posts where meat and dairy shelves are empty.
An obvious result of people running after these things.
What should bring us assurance and comfort is that Jesus says, Your heavenly Father knows you need them.
Yes, He’s very aware of our needs.
Notice it doesn’t say our wants.
We’re living in a time when we’re realizing the difference between our needs and wants.
Essentials and non-essentials.
I want lunch at Panera.
I want to watch college basketball games.
I want my fitness class.
I want my hair appointment!
But when all these things are stripped away from us, our perspective dramatically shifts.
My basic needs are being met. I have food, a roof over my head and plenty of clothes. (And even if toilet paper is running low, it ultimately will not cause me to die!)
The last thing Jesus says to give us peace and assurance is this:
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We’re being forced to slow down and live one day at a time.
We’re used to planning things out weeks and months ahead of time.
We’re used to stocking up on things in bulk.
We’re used to our predictable routines.
Maybe it’s a good thing we are now literally having to live one day at a time.
When I start worrying about tomorrow, the “what-if” syndrome knocks me down and I can’t recover.
What if _______???
Jesus promises to be our daily bread. (Not a weekly or monthly stockpile.)
Because if I have a year’s supply of food and toilet paper, I’m going to trust in that and not Him.
He wants us to trust Him one day at a time.
One moment at a time.
And when we do that, we can trade our panic for peace.
How about you dear friend?
Are you caught up in the whirlwind of worry? The pandemic panic?
Lean into the peace and assurance that can only come from trusting in the one who knows exactly what we need.
Blessings to you,