Today’s reading are Genesis 11-15, Psalm 3, and Matthew 5-6.
In today’s Old Testament reading we begin the story of Abraham when he was still Abram and Sarah was still Sarai. Abraham had been called and God had made the covenant with him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars, but Abraham was still very unsure of what would happen or, more importantly, how it would happen.
The New Testament readings seem to speak towards Abraham’s predicament. Mainly, don’t worry about it. In Matthew 6:25-34 we have the famous Lilies of the Field text. Jesus compares our lives with birds of the air and flowers of the field. They don’t worry, and yet they are fed. They don’t worry, and yet their petals grow.
What are we worried about? For many, this is a difficult chapter. We want to say, “Yeah, that’s nice Jesus, but what about…” or “Yeah, I understand the birds have food but laws restrict me from foraging for food like they do” and “If only I could grow clothes like flowers grow petals I’d be set!”
In Genesis 12 Abram and Sarai go down to Egypt because there is a famine in the land where God told them to settle. Interestingly enough, in Genesis 11, God directed Abram where to go and he went. As far as we know from the story, Abram goes to Egypt on his own accord. If this is the case, did he go because of worry? Had he forgotten that God had just promised him that He would make him into a great nation, that his name would be great, and that all the earth would be blessed by him (Genesis 12:2-3). If this is the case, then he should be confident that God will care for him; but he still worried. He worries again in Genesis 15 when he and God speak about who will be his successor; without kids, Eliezer of Damascus is the heir. But again God says, don’t worry, I will make you great from your own flesh and blood (Genesis 15:4), presumably, with Sarai. But what happens a few chapters later? Abram and Sarai worry and Abram sleeps with Hagar.
While I agree and know that I shouldn’t worry, I agree and know God will care for me, it is hard not to worry.
It is hard to know what’s next: Now that I have this Master’s degree, what do I do with it? Will I have to stay in this job forever or will I find something more suited to my degree and skills? When is this pandemic going to end? Will it ever end?
I believe asking God questions is good. I believe we are allowed to converse with God about our worries and fears but what I believe we are not allowed to do is keep them.
I believe it is very important for us to be aware that the Lord’s Prayer comes just verses prior to the passage about not worrying (as well as the section about Treasures in Heaven [Matthew 6:19-24]). The Lord’s Prayer instructs us to see with God’s eyes: Your Kingdom come, Your will be done as it is in Heaven. It instructs us to be concerned with the here and now: Give us today our daily bread. When we are focused on heavenly things, on kingdom things, we are not concerned with earthly treasures. We want the things of God. When we ask for our daily bread, we are asking for today’s needs to be met; like God providing the manna that day in the wilderness and not for the next.
I know this is hard. I know that I fail this; I focus on earthly treasures and not only my bread for tomorrow, but also my bread for five years from now. But it is important to keep coming back to this Scripture. To keep seeing through God’s eyes and to give my worries to Him.
Even though Abraham worried and focused often on earthly treasures (so much can be said about this in regards to him and Sarai in Egypt), his faith was still counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
My prayer is that inspite of all my worrying, all my wandering and wondering about tomorrow, God will still credit my belief to me as righteousness.
Join me in finishing this year by reading through the Bible through a Psalm a Day. Find my reading plan here.
All Scripture used on Oregon Christian Girl comes from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Unless otherwise noted.