Not to Worry

Terry Bolter escaped from the Gestapo by jumping across 6 feet of space to the roof of the adjacent building and then dropping down through a skylight.  He was a British WWII pilot, downed behind Nazi lines, who eventually made it back.  His journey ( It’s a hair raising tale; I’ll include the link below) was made possible by following guides from the Belgian resistance.  Throughout this perilous escape, Terry was constantly faced with a choice: worry or trust.  Worry would have paralyzed him.  Putting aside worry and trusting his guide gave him the ability to make it through each day’s dangerous obstacles.  Jesus taught the same principle in the Sermon on the Mount: Don’t worry; Trust.  He said:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Matthew 6:25-34)

Worry, stressing over having enough food, clothing or money, can prevent us from entering into life – real life.  Instead of worrying, Jesus said, trust Him and follow His guidance.  Bobby McFerrin had it wrong when he sang “Don’t Worry; Be Happy,” which is a potentially dangerous exercise in wishful thinking.  Jesus said, “Don’t worry; trust God and follow Me, your guide.”  There is a big difference.

So, what did Jesus, our guide, tell us to do?  “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”  He didn’t say, “Clean up your act and do righteous things.”  He said, “Seek God’s righteousness, given to those who respond to Him as their King.”  It’s not the self-righteous who enter the kingdom of God, but rather, Jesus taught, it is the “poor in spirit,” who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:3&6).  In other words, it is those who know they cannot make it on their own, those who are ready to trust Him to guide them (“blessed are the meek” – Matthew 5:5).  Terry Bolter couldn’t rescue himself.  He was trapped in a building with the Gestapo hammering on the door.  His only hope for safety was to put aside worry and trust his guide.  That’s the situation we are in.  Jesus says, “Don’t worry; follow me, seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness.”

Here’s the link to the rest of Terry’s story:  click here

 

 

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