Pastor Kim Eskridge
Exciting things are happening in our church family now! Eric Schneiderhan will be starting in a few days as our Youth Pastor. I can’t wait for Eric and his family to join our team! He and I were in seminary together, and I look forward to serving families at FBCA together. We also had a strong start to our new church year in our Sunday morning groups for Promotion Sunday and with Wednesday evening activities and groups. Blessings upon blessings!
But, even in the midst of the great things that are happening, I am seeing evidence that many are carrying the burden of living with worry and anxiety.
This summer I was invited to take on a different role in Music Camp. Each morning, I led a short devotional about a different section of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9 – 15), which was at the heart of our “Pray Station” musical. I would like to share with you some of what we talked about one morning, along with some other thoughts.
Let’s start with prayer that Jesus demonstrated, just as we did each morning at Music Camp:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
When we say, “Give us today our daily bread,” we ask God to give us what we need for each day. Think about the time when God provided for His people in the desert. He provided food for them to eat (manna and quail) and water to drink (Exodus 16 & 17). The people were upset and worried. Some of them even thought that God had brought them out of slavery in Egypt into the desert to die. God provided for every need that they had. It is interesting to me that God gave His people just enough for each day. No more, no less. I believe that He wanted them to learn to trust Him.
But even though we are not living in an actual wilderness desert and God has blessed us in so many ways, it can be hard not to worry. There have been many things that we could worry about over the past couple of years. Is there something that you are worried about now?
Five hundred years ago, French philosopher Michel de Montaigne said, “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” Not long ago a study proved this to be the case for most of us as well. In a study of a group of people over time, researchers discovered that 85% of what we worry about never happens. And the people in the study found out that even when the 15% of the things that they had worried about did happen, it was almost never as bad as they had thought it would be, and they were able to cope.
We spend a lot of time worrying about things that either won’t happen or won’t be as bad as we think they will be even if they do happen. If this is true for everyone, don’t you think that those of us who are followers of Christ are even better off than people in the study who don’t know Jesus and don’t have His Spirit living in us? God loves us, and He tells us not to worry many times in Scripture. Philippians 4 is one of my favorite passages about worry:
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5b – 7)
God is near to us. Instead of worrying about whatever is happening or might happen, we can pray to Him about it, and we can thank Him that He hears our prayers and is in control, whatever happens. And we can leave it with Him. Because we know this, we can have peace even when hard things are happening. Listen to verse 19, a bit further in Philippians 4:
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. "
Each day, sometimes every hour, we have a choice to make. Will we trust in God to take care of us or not? I have found that as I have grown in my relationship with Christ, it has become easier and easier for me to trust Him. He is good and trustworthy, no matter what. Being sure of that can be our manna for today.