Jesus: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” – Matthew 6:25-34
That being said (yesterday’s post about lighthearted fun), life also comes with its share of burdens – sometimes more than a share. I understand what Jesus said about worry being a sin, and the way he explained it makes perfect sense. But then there is life and sometimes the challenges become, well, a challenge.
For me – at the moment – it is the weight of other people’s pain, and the seemingly impossible hurdles people I love have to navigate that adds up to this nagging disquiet and sense of overwhelm. I see so much need and there is so little that I can do to ease their burdens. There is such a treasury of wisdom in scripture that tells me how to let it go, but sometimes putting belief into practice so that it becomes faith falls beyond the natural reach of my spiritual depth in the day-to-day.
What to do?
And so, of course, I have to work at it. Part of my process is what I am doing right now, thinking out loud, and part of it is a more meditative practice of what I like to call “prayer with my eyes open.” One of my spiritual gifts is the ability to see clearly and I tend to find so much beauty in the world around me (nature, light, people, even buildings) that God speaks to me if only I take the time to open my eyes and listen.
Then there is scripture, and the words I find in the Bible seem to find their resting place in my field of vision when I meditate in this way.
So let me share two things with you today. First, some of the scriptures that help. And then the photographs I took early yesterday evening when I needed to see clearly, and that are helping me to put things in focus this morning too.
There is something about looking at the world around us, the immediate world of our homes and our gardens – with not just new eyes but with slow, deliberate, meditative eyes – that slows things down for me to the extent that I remember not just the beauty of this world, but the beauty that is life, and the truth that God loves us with such generosity and grace.
- Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
- Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
- “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
- “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” – Matthew 6:25-34
So I pray peace, and more peace, for us all – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.