What, me worry? ∙
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? – Matthew 6:27
25 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life– whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,
29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Submarines were initially dubbed “iron coffins.” At the end of the nineteenth century, they became much safer. A picture was taken of John Philip Holland, an Irish engineer, emerging from the hatch of one of his submarines wearing a derby hat. In 1898, a cartoon was drawn from the photo with the caption. “What, me worry?”
When Mad Magazine was first published in 1954, Harvey Kurtzman claimed the character as the iconic cover boy for Mad. He was named “Alfred E. Neuman” by Mad Magazine’s second editor, Al Feldstein, in 1956. He soon became Mad Magazine’s mascot. The phrase, “What, me worry?” soon became the motto of Mad Magazine. The two have been inseparable ever since.
Feldstein hired Norman Mingo, an American commercial artist, and illustrator, to formalize the caricature. He told Mingo that he wanted the character to be loveable and have intelligence behind his eyes. But to also have a devil-may-care attitude. He was supposed to be someone who could maintain a sense of humor while the world was collapsing around him.
Minus the mischievousness, the Lord Jesus Christ desires that all children of the King have the attitude of Alfred E. Neuman when it comes to the world’s concerns.
The Lord Jesus Christ asked a rhetorical yet provocative question about worry: Can all your worries add a single moment to your life (Matthew 6:27)?
The answer: of course not!
If worrying about something does not help, why do it? Perhaps it is time to rethink this natural human propensity.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father doesn’t tell us to stop worrying about food, shelter, and clothing because we don’t really need them. On the contrary, He knows we need them. We can stop worrying because He has promised to take care of the essentials (Stanley).
Father if birds and lilies have no concern regarding where they will find their next meal or how they look but are entirely taken care of by You, please encourage me to be like them and trust You.
The propensity to worry seems to be part of human DNA. Fretting cannot lengthen life any more than it can put food on the table or clothes on the back (Matthew 6:27). Worry really shortens life (Constable).
If worry accomplishes nothing helpful, our attitudes and emotions that fuel worry need to be revisited. God knows what we need and promises to supply it. Why should we fret?
But of greater importance, the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us not to worry.
Matthew 6:25Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life.
Matthew 6:31 So do not worry . . ..
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.
In no sense does this mean that we should disregard planning and thinking about the future. Instead, we should ignore the worry that so often accompanies them. Any carpenter worth their salt makes plans in advance, sketches out the final product, and acquires all the necessary materials and tools to build what is envisioned. What carpenters need not do is worry about what they are crafting. The Lord Jesus Christ knew this firsthand as a carpenter working for his human father Joseph in Galilee.
Sadly, for children of the King, this is a reoccurring conundrum. He has asked us to have single-minded devotion to Him and seek first His kingdom. Being concerned about how things turn out is natural. But when worry dominates our thoughts, feelings, and activities, we become double-minded. We put first our own peace of mind and security. The Father gets the leftovers.
If we put our confidence and trust in the Father first, we can rest assured that He will take care of our lives and supply our needs.
The Lord Jesus Christ supports His point with illustrations from the natural world of fauna and flora. It provides excellent object lessons from which we can observe and learn.
Birds seem to be almost tirelessly active and on the move. Yet, despite their efforts, they are significantly impacted by the forces of nature. But the Father sees that they are fed. Lilies, wildflowers, and grasses grow naturally. They do not expend effort as animals do, yet they are beautifully adorned.
Matthew 6:28 Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin.
The Greek term translated as think about, observe, consider is katamanthano. Katamanthano means to watch something carefully to learn from it. It is intellectual awareness that is gained through examination and reflection.
Flowers and grasses merely grow. They do not labor or strive. The Father adorns them for the natural environment in which they live.
If He takes care of birds and flowers, how much more will He care for the children of the King?
© Dr. H 2022