• bryon ethington

Go Ahead and Worry (part 2)

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

I recently read an article that stated "When we are anxious, we are, in essence, saying that we don't believe God is able to take care of us. We are saying that God isn't powerful or caring enough to meet all our needs and sustain us through our trials." This was the author's well-intentioned understanding of Paul's admonition to "be anxious for nothing" found in Philippians 4.

I have come to believe that is one thing to interpret and exegete Scripture while sipping on a $5 latte, sitting in your posh office, bothered only by the notifications on your Apple watch as you craft catchy phrases that are tweetable to a first-world audience -- while it is quite another to understand Scripture through the lens of a Father crying out to God for food for his starving children in a third-world, impoverished and famine-stricken nation only to watch each one die when relief doesn't come.

Anxiety creeps in not because we believe God isn't able or powerful or caring enough to meet our needs; rather, it comes because we are not blind to the fact that God doesn't always come through in the here and now to meet those earthly, temporal needs. We get worried and experience anxiety when facing circumstances beyond our control that threaten the good in life that we long for and that God intended when He first created man and woman.

We were designed for life, not death. For health, not sickness. For wholeness, not fragmentation. For relationship, not isolation. For love, not hate. For joy, not pain. And our soul remembers Eden. One day the former things will once again be our daily and eternal reality, but today we have to face the latter things. The difference between the two is the space where worry and anxiety dwell.

There is a cosmic difference between having a deep settledness that all will be well in the yet to come and struggling with the pain and sorrow of the here and now.

Next week we will look at Jesus as our example of a troubled yet trusting soul. He was One who worried and prayed.

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