Read Matthew 6:25-34
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NRSV).
“I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NRSV).
I can remember back when I was a small boy and I was first learning to dive into water. The lifeguard would take us to the bridge at the small pond where I was learning how to swim and, one by one, we would each take a turn diving. There was just one problem…I was petrified. The water looked so far down that I could not fathom letting myself fall head first. It was a scary thought for me. What’s more, there was a roaring waterfall not even 10 feet beyond the bridge which we were diving off. The sound of the water crashing on the rocks below was a horrifying sound to an 8-year-old boy. What if water’s current sucked me toward and over the waterfall?
I remember standing at the edge, arms over my head and overlapping at the hands, my head tucked in and down. There I was staring down at the water, hearing the sound of what seemed like my demise gushing down and over the rocks below. I stood there paralyzed and could not move. And when the lifeguard finally convinced me to let go, to actually take the dive, I still wouldn’t let go, even as I was falling into the water. The result: SPLASH!!! I belly-flopped and then swam, in pain, for my life toward the beach! Reaching the shore, I realized that the current wasn’t as fearsome as it seemed on the bridge, and the only thing that hurt was the belly flop, which my fear was the cause of. Eventually, I learned to let go and found freedom in the free fall off of that bridge and, since then, I have never looked back!
While the story above describes my early fear of diving, it rings true for many of us in our lives. We let our fears get the better of us. Rather than taking the leap of faith off of the bridge we stand there paralyzed, staring down at the waters. Jesus taught that it was futile to live life in fear, even when it comes to worrying about essential things such as food or clothing. Rather, he called us to live a life of faith. If we seek out the Kingdom of God, which means that it can be found here and now, and if we seek God’s righteousness, then God will provide for us as we need. This does not mean God will provide us with everything we want, but we will never be found wanting of what we truly need!
Therefore, what do we have to fear? Let us seek out the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness! Let us do what it is God has called each and every one of us to do and let us do it fearlessly!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Lord God, I open myself and hand my life over to you. Please liberate me from the oppressive force of fear and move me toward a life of faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.