By K. L. Bridgewater
A couple of weeks ago at church, senior pastor Scot Longyear preached a sermon that bounced directly into my heart. It was on worry. Something I have been doing a lot since I graduated from graduate school. Why don't I have a job? Not a blue collar job. Not that there is anything wrong with them. My husband, parents, and in-laws all work in those jobs. But I have a Masters degree, so why I don't have a higher paying job to help my family. I mean, we live comfortably. We have no debt except our mortgage payment, which will be paid off in 9 years. Can't wait! Then we will be truly be debt free.
We never take vacations beside going to Holiday World or camping in Indiana. We don't really have any extra money to spend on elaborate vacations. I have really not traveled that far. This past February, I traveled with my husband to Asheville, North Carolina, which was the first time I have ever seen the Smoky Mountains. I drove over the Mississippi River once. I have never been farther north then Chicago. I would LOVE to visit England and stay for a month. I would love to visit the home of my Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. I would love to visit Yellowstone National Park. All of those are dreams that I would love to see become a reality. We have friends who travel all the time, and I feel sad that we don't.
There are times, like this past month, where my husband only works 20 hours a week. It is hard to pay the bills when his company does that. I have applied to jobs all over the world, but still nothing. My resume and cover letter is in London, Alaska, New York, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, among many other places. But I still worry.
Longyear's sermon focused on Matthew 6: 25-34, which is rightly titled, Do Not Worry. Easy for the them to say. But not easy to follow. Longyear had three comments about those verses. Why do we worry?
1.) We don't think we are valuable.
In verse 26, it reads, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" I have read those verses many times in my walk with my faith, but it struck me a little different this time. I have been questioning whether God actually cares that my family doesn't have any extra money and live in a home that is no where near my dream home. But this verse proves that I'M VALUABLE TO GOD. Wow! Further proof is located in John 15: 13, 15. God has laid down his life for his friends, which is us fellow believers. God calls me his friend. How awesome is that.
2.) We don't think God knows our situation.
Psalm 139:1-5: "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord know it completely. You hem in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me."
God knows our situation before we begin. Why not share it with him? He isn't some all-powerful God who ignores his followers. He wants a relationship with us where we share even our troubles with him.
3.) How do we kill worry and get peace?
Peace is found in the pursuit of Christ. Did you read that? Read it again. I had to read it a couple of times to allow it to sink in. In Matthew 6: 33, it says, "But SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD . . " We need to seek God. As soon as we worship God and read His Word every day, seeking his heart, then God will take care of the rest. God will provide a plan for your life, just follow after him.
I need this reminder a lot lately especially with my writing. I have been writing books and newspaper articles for 16 years now. Half of my life, I have felt this calling by God to write, but I keep getting frustrated. This past summer, I had a down time when I didn't write anything, but my blog posts. I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and worshiping God, which I know has given me a closer relationship with God. Recently, I wrote the first chapter in my new three book series featuring Devin Sanders and Chloe Walker, and I prayed before I started writing, asking God to write the best story for his glory. Then I turned on my worship channel on Pandora, and the words just flew from my finger.
Are you worrying or seeking God in your life? Your writing? Maybe we all should turn our writing over to God and allow him to worry about that agent or editor appointment coming up. If God truly wants us to be published, he will provide a way. Even I had to swallow that statement because as a human, I want to be published now and not wait on God's timing.
How did this change the way you thought of worrying about your writing? How do you seek first the kingdom of God?