I love a good question and have recently chosen one in particular to travel with for the whole of 2021. The question of my choosing was posed by Jesus in his famous “Do not worry” sermon. After speaking of his Heavenly Father who tends the birds of the air and flowers of the field, he turned to the crowd and asked:
“Don’t you think he’ll attend to you?”
Matthew 6: 30 (The Message)
Jesus asked this of people described (in the passage) as worried, anxious, perpetually uneasy, distracted, fussy, frantic, preoccupied, consumed with trying to get their needs met, and worked up over what may or may not happen in the future.
“Don’t you think he’ll attend to you?” he asked them, and now me.
My inner state and outer actions clearly answer that question, and too often it’s a resounding no. No, apparently I do not think he’ll attend to me, because here I am all worked up over things that are out of my control. I can tell I’m going to need this question a good bit.
Just last week I noticed a mole on my abdomen that had all the characteristics of not-good-news. As anxiety crept in, Spirit whispered, “Don’t you think he’ll attend to you?”
Breathe. Let go. Trust.
“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax,” Jesus says (v.31).
Good luck, Jesus!
Between pandemics and politics, there’s just so much to be anxious about right now. Is that why this question has come to accompany me? For such a time as this?
The Message Bible has Jesus’ final word on this section as follows:
“Don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up
when the time comes.”
I wish Jesus had said God will take away all the hard before we even get there. But no. God will help you deal.
This is how God frequently attends to us. He doesn’t always fix it for us, save us from it, or even make it all better. He helps us deal.The gift we never wanted.
Think Daniel in the lions den or his friends in the fiery furnace. It seems God’s two-fold favorite plan is:
I will be with you
I will help you.
Isn’t this what Spirit offered to Paul concerning the thorn in his flesh
and to Moses in all his felt fears (2 Corinthians 12:8-9; Exodus 4:12)?
I will help you deal.
And isn’t this what we can offer to one another, especially now? We can’t always right it, repair it, or remove it, but we can be like God by helping each other deal with it. Dealwith the very real hard that is very much here.
God’s mouth to our ears,
“Don’t panic. I’m with you … I’m telling you, Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.”
Isaiah 41:10-13 (Message)
Help you deal: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- How might you honestly answer Jesus’ question? What do your inner state and outer actions reveal?
- When you’re feeling panicked, perpetually uneasy, or preoccupied, pause. Pause and ponder Jesus’ question: “Don’t you think he’ll attend to you?”
- Each day this week ask one person, “How can I help?”
- Each day this week ask one person to help you.
- Our song of the week is: You Already Know by JJ Heller
- Try this (or these) breathe prayers throughout the week: Attentive God, help me deal.
Friend, when I feel like the Apostle Paul with an unwanted thorn in my flesh, I tend to tell God he’s got two options: take it away, or give me the grace & strength to bear it. This week I’m shaping that into a prayer for me and you both: God, please heal or help us deal.
May you find him faithful to do just this.