It recently occurred to me that Christ didn’t simply tell us not to worry, He set us the example.
He wasn’t worried that things might go wrong for Him if he continued to antagonize the Jewish leaders. Anxiety didn't prevent him from threatening to cause an uprising that would incur the brutal wrath of the Romans.
He already knew that at the end of His three years’ ministry He was going to die an agonizing death on the cross.
Armed with such knowledge about our future, most of us - if not all of us - would simply refuse to get out of bed and try to avoid such a painful fate.
Using Our Time Wisely
But Christ kept on keeping on.
He knew His days were numbered, but instead of letting this frightening truth paralyze Him, He made every day He had on earth count. He loved Mankind, spread the Gospel, brought people to God and gave them (and us) the chance to be saved.
Our lives are finite and none of us knows how long we have to live. That is why it’s so important to follow Christ’s example and make a difference in the lives of those around us with the time that God has given us.
It doesn’t matter whether we have many years or a few days left. What does matter is that we use them to serve God to the best of our abilities.
In Matthew 6: 27 Jesus says, ‘And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?’
We’ve all read the passage, but how many of us actually absorb its truth?
Christ truly lived out His words, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)”
He went about His Father’s business, bringing the Kingdom of God to this world and leaving tomorrow’s evils to tomorrow.
He didn’t fret about the future like we do. He showed us how to deal with daily life, despite the fact that He already knew what evil lay in store for Him.
The rest of us spend our days imagining the bad things that might arise, when 99.99% of them don’t ever come to pass. And usually we don’t foresee the evil that is around the corner: we’re not God - we can’t ‘cover all bases.’
I used to hear that phrase all the time when I was a teenager. People would even shout it out to me as I walked down the street. In my early days of competing in horse shows, I got so sick of friends, family and strangers exhorting me to smile! I wanted to shout, “I’m REALLY nervous! It’s not fair to ask me to smile!”
But they were right. How is looking grim going to make life go smoothly? And especially if we’re Christians, when we’re supposed to show how our Christian faith improves our general outlook!
I tend to have this stupid attitude that if I worry about it I’ll somehow prevent it from happening, and I think many of you are the same. We see ourselves as responsible for the way things turn out and have to carry the weight of making sure nothing goes wrong by Doing the Worrying Bit.
How presumptuous is that?! We’re playing God and we know that's wrong.
Surely it makes more sense to carry out the tasks He’s given us for today, serving God with joy and letting tomorrow take care of itself?
That’s exactly what He did. And when things ‘went wrong’ for Him, He was ready to accept suffering with good grace for our sakes. He met it head on when it came, as we are expected to do.
But until then He didn’t waste time worrying about His imminent death: He used His time profitably to serve His Heavenly Father.
And so should we.