"Then Jesus said to his disciples: 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.' " Luke 12:22
As I prayed today about the verse for tonight, I wasn't sure where He would bring me and this verse came to my attention in my reading. Jesus had a lot to say on the subject of worry and a bulk of it was said directly to his disciples. This is one that I've heard many times before; in fact, I could have probably written it from memory as I am writing this. How can we possibly live out this type of directive? How can we not worry about our life, what we will eat, our body or what we will wear?!? :) We have been talking about all-consuming anxiety these past few days and Jesus covers all of the areas of fear and anxiety in this one verse.
He goes on to say in verse 13 that "life is more than food, the body more than clothes". Jesus obviously knew that the disciples needed to eat and clothe themselves. Again, was their worry about food and clothing taking their eyes off of their true purpose? I wonder, when he refers to worry, does he mean that we shouldn't focus on these things in an unbalanced way? An unhealthy fixation on any of these areas would take our focus off of God-who knows our needs even before we know them.
But, as I sit in my warm house on a very cold night (I even see some snow falling outside my window!), I wonder how this pertains to families that don't have a warm place tonight. I'll be honest with you. I don't have a satisfying answer for that. I know there are students in my middle school tonight that do not have a warm bed to sleep in. How do we make sense of God telling us not to worry while acknowledging at the same time that there are people whose lives are a mess and they truly do not have enough food or clothes to care for basic needs?
We live in a messy, fallen world that is hurting. The only way that I can be a servant to that hurting world is if I take my eyes off of my circumstances and put them on Christ. When I am consumed with worry and fear about my own life and daily (often significant) needs, I can't see beyond my stress to see the pain in front of me. Perhaps this was Jesus' way of telling us to look past our own hardships so that we can minister to others. Life is truly not about these things (food, clothes, etc). We are here to love God and ultimately love others unselfishly and unconditionally.
Oh, Lord, take my eyes off of my stress and put them on the world. I want to see the hurting the way that You do so that You are glorified through me. I want to be a light for you in so much darkness.