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Worry – Lent Day 20

Thursday, March 8

Worry

Jeff Olson

Day 20Read Luke 12

Do you ever worry? If you have a pulse, you probably do.

If there is one thing that life and over two decades of counseling with people have taught me is that people feel anxious. Some of us experience it more intensely than others. Others of us are better at hiding it. But nearly all of us have an “anxious core.”

What we worry about might be as vast as the Grand Canyon. We can worry about something that happened to us an hour ago. We might fret over what tomorrow may bring. We may worry about the economy. We can feel anxious over interactions with friends. We may worry about our kids, our parents, or our health.

Understanding that worry can be a consuming struggle, Jesus took the time to talk about it with His first disciples (Luke 12:22-31). Jesus taught them not to worry about basic needs (v.22-23). He asked His disciples, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25). If anything, modern science has shown that chronic anxiety can compromise our immune system, making us vulnerable to all sorts of ailments that can shorten our lifespan.

Jesus’s antidote for worry is God’s kingdom—His very presence and rule coming to bear on the world around us. “Seek his kingdom” Jesus said, “and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:31-32).

We may not immediately sense or see it, but the one thing we can be certain is the kingdom of God making its way into our uncertain world.

Seeking God’s kingdom often starts with mindfully directing our attentions toward it. This week look for opportunities to mindfully focus your attention on God’s Kingdom such as a friend blessing you with an act of kindness, a person choosing grace over retaliation, or people sacrificing to care for the least of these in our world.

 

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