Fighting for Scraps
By Ben Johnson
I worry, a lot. I worry about getting my job done well. I worry about having enough savings in the bank. I worry about starting a retirement fund. I worry about taxes. I worry about where my career will be in five years. I worry if my wife and I will ever be able to settle into a house. I worry if I’m doing enough as a husband. I worry if I will be able to provide for my as-of-yet nonexistent kids the way my parents provided for my brother and me. I worry about how we will take care of our parents as they get older. As I stated, it’s a lot.
Jesus had a lot to say about worrying, and it mostly boiled down to don’t do it. There are multiple accounts in the gospels about Christ’s teaching on anxiety. Jesus taught that people should not be afraid about physical things like hunger or shelter, but about spiritual things. In Luke 12: 5 he says, “[F]ear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.” To Christ, we should be concerned about our spiritual needs much more than our physical ones.
Jesus reflected this in the way he taught his disciples to pray. “Give us today our daily bread.” That’s all Jesus taught to pray about physical needs. “God, give me what I need to survive today.”
I’m amazed with how much Jesus didn’t worry. He didn’t worry about where he was going to sleep at night. He didn’t worry about where he was going to get his next meal or where he was going. Jesus “worried” about one thing: doing the will of His father.
Jesus “worried” about helping the needy, healing the sick, and bringing light to those lost in darkness. Jesus “worried” about spreading his Father’s kingdom and completing his mission to bring salvation to a sinful world.
When is the last time I worried if I was bringing the Father’s kingdom? When was the last time I worried about my sanctification? Do I stay up at night worrying about my coworker who doesn’t accept Jesus as Lord and Savior?
No, I worry about the bread, the easy stuff. Christ says even the birds get their daily sustenance, and how much more does our Father love us than birds? Christ says God loves us as his children, and like a parent God delights in taking care of us. I should not fret over if I will have enough money, or if I’ll ever get a house. I shouldn’t be wasting my mental and emotional energy fighting for scraps.
I’m tired of fighting for scraps. Christians are free from fretting over trivial things. We know that we have a Father who will take cares us, and that frees us to care about his mission. So, it is my prayer in 2019 to worry less about scraps and more about what’s substantial. We are privileged to be concerned about reaching the lost, giving help to the needy, and feeding the sick. We are free to be concerned about bringing God’s kingdom to earth, and that is both the heaviest and easiest burden to bear, for we do not bear it on our own but are carried by Christ.