Jesus says, “Stop worrying about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Stop worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
There have been times in my life when I have wondered/worried about my life. At the end of H.S. I wondered/worried am I smart enough to make it in college? Will I be able to handle the work? On one of my papers because of bad spelling and run on sentences a prof. wrote in big red letters, “You can’t write like this and be a professional anything.” Where was spellcheck when I needed it? Once done with college I wondered/worried would I have what it takes to make it through seminary? I had seen classmates drop out in college that I thought would be good pastors, but didn’t do well in class work. But I made it through that. Then I wondered/worried if I would get a call. There was an overabundance of pastors at the time (how times have changed). If I did get a call would I be able to be a good pastor? Then I got a call to North Dakota. How can anyone live on that flat, prairie land, I wondered/worried? In every one of these big changes in my life Jesus kept saying to me, stop worrying. I’ve got this. Look at the birds, look at the fields of wheat, oats, and flax. See how the brome grass pollinates. Don’t worry about how you are going to pay for college and seminary. It will be taken care of. Stop worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. In all these things I have had to let go of what I thought might happen and experience what God was doing in my life. I needed to use the gifts and talents that God had given me for the sake of the world. As I learned to do that I found I really didn’t need to worry. I feel like I am in one of those turning times in my life right now. This covid-19, novel corona virus whatever you want to call it has drastically changed my life and probably yours. So I have been watching the birds. I have seen the robins, redwing blackbirds, geese, swans, Sandhill cranes, ducks and finally pelicans come back from down south. I anxiously await trees leafing out. It all reminds me that God is still active and working for me. Nature continues even though I may have to sit and wait and wear a mask for a while. Jesus continues to tell me, “Stop worrying. I’ve got this.” In this month when we typically are very social going to Mother’s day celebrations, opening fishing/ cabins, graduation parties, for some churches confirmations, it may make us a bit anxious and out of sorts not to do those things. It might make us feel down. But remember God is with us and will take care of us. Remember that God cares for you. We can throw off our worries like a heavy winter coat because God is giving us all kinds of signs that God is there for us. As God directs the birds and helps them to come back north, find food and a place to nest, God will take care of us. Even though this may not be what we expected, as we use the gifts and talents that God has given us for the sake of the world. We learn that we really don’t need to worry.
Blessings in Christ, Pastor Dean