It’s April of 2021 and if this last year has taught us anything, it’s taught us that we should give our worries and fears to God.
Let’s look back one year: In the beginning of March, 2020, WHO (the World Health Organization) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) both listed COVID-19 as a virus that was dangerous to people with existing health conditions and the elderly.
However, they did not list it is as a pandemic. It wasn’t until fear-mongering government officials in the US and Europe complained that both organizations started calling it a “pandemic.”
Fast forward one year later. We now know that this virus is much like the flu. Yes, it does severely affect the elderly and those with existing health conditions, but it’s not a pandemic in the real sense of the word. Historically, a pandemic was a virus that would kill a minimum of 5% of the population.
However, even if it was a pandemic, is it worth worrying about? How much worry would you need to conjure up in order for you and your loved ones to be safe from COVID-19? And what is “safe?”
I try to be a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
I’m going to start with verse 19, but I’m also going to skip around a little bit: 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus isn’t just talking about material things, or he wouldn’t have said “there your heart will be also.”
“Laying up for yourselves treasure on earth” could be anything that you hold more dear than your love of God. It could even be people. We are not following the teachings of Jesus if we are afraid of losing a loved one more than we love God. It doesn’t mean we are not afraid of losing them, but we need to love and trust God more.
I made a mistake when I was a new Christian. I was talking with a business client, and he mentioned some words that sounded like he was a Christian. And I said: “I didn’t know you were a Christian.” But his answer astounded me. He said: “I was until God took my wife.”
But dying is a gravity issue. (A gravity issue is anything that we can do nothing about). Look around, there is not one person on this planet older than 200. We all die. That is a fact of our lives. But, as Christians, when we die, we go to Heaven. So, in essence, blaming God for brining one of his own home is like being mad that you just had the best day of your life.
And it’s not that it’s easy dealing with the death of a loved one. Both of my parents died 10 days apart and it was a very traumatic time for me. I would love to tell you how well I handled it, how I gave all the hurt and sorrow to God, but that would be a lie. I handled it terribly. But God was still with me through it all, holding me. He didn’t take them away, it was the issues of this world that took them. And I believe God was there waiting for them when they reached the gates of Heaven.
Jesus went on to say, starting in verse 25: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I emphasized “first” because Jesus is not telling us to sit around on our asses, doing nothing at all, and expecting God to take care of us. God expects us to do 100% of what we can do, then he will step in and take care of the rest. But it all starts with us seeking the kingdom of God first.
And remember back to verse 21 where Jesus tells us that whatever we seek most, there our heart is also. So, we can’t fool him. If I want to be a billionaire, and I say that I am seeking the kingdom of God, but I’m doing it to try to become a millionaire, it won’t work. God sees into our hearts and knows our true motivation.
I know a couple of people that claim to care deeply about others. They also call themselves Christians. Whenever a friend of theirs needs help, they are there. They will go out of their way to airquote help their friends.
One of them, I’ll call him Tony, and that’s not his real name, will go so far out of his way to airquote help a friend that he has lost several jobs because he didn’t show up. And his excuse, his friend needed him.
But the truth is that Tony is more interested in looking like the hero to his friends than anything else. He gets caught up in the drama of their lives, and he tends to attract the kind of person that has a lot of drama, and inserts himself into their drama.
Basically, he takes other people’s problems and makes them his own. And he’s done this so much, for so long, that I don’t think he even sees the vicious circle of his life.
So, be wary of other people’s problems. Don’t let them suck you into the drama of their lives. And I’ve seen this in the lives of church members. It seems that, for every good thing that happens to them, 2 bad things happen, and they never get ahead.
And I’m going to tell you something that is extremely difficult for me to do. I am an introvert. And by introvert, I mean that I can work 12 hours a day alone in my office and love it.
For those of you familiar with it, I rate 100% on the introvert scale of the Meyers-Briggs test. And, if you are not familiar with it, go to 16personalities.com to try it yourself.
So, it’s difficult for me to do public things, like taking someone’s hand and praying for them right there and then. But I need to do that more. I usually tell them that I will pray for them, and I do. But it is so much more powerful if I would just be brave enough to pray with them at that moment.
And when I say don’t get caught up in things that don’t matter, I’m not saying that the world doesn’t have issues, I’m saying that we don’t need to get caught up in those issues. Or, It’s not that we shouldn’t care, be in prayer.
Yes, if your government official is doing something that you don’t like, contact them. But pray over the issue. Pray before you contact them (to calm your heart), after you contact them, and at least daily. And that doesn’t mean the issue will magically solve itself, God may use whatever it is in ways we don’t understand. But by praying we give the issue to God so we won’t be anxious about it.
There is something I hear quite often: I don’t know how to pray. And, if you are wondering how to pray, think of this: Jesus is not a religion. Jesus is a person. So, any time we talk to Jesus, we are praying. Spend some time each day talking to Jesus about anything you have anxiety over, and remember to keep some time in silent meditation after that for him to answer.
I hope you liked this volume of the Simple Christian podcast. Please leave me a comment letting me know what you think of it. And I would appreciate your rating and review on your favorite podcast player.
-Dr. Ty Belknap