I sit here at my desk in our flat in Cape Town. The desk is on a stone floor next to the big window so I’m feeling the cold. It is a proper winter’s day in the cape; rain with the cold. Somehow the sound of the rain drops calm me a bit, I woke up so nervous today, it has been a tough week and a half, actually a tough two months. But I have made it so far and in a week’s time my exams will be over and I will have a break. It is just getting through the exams, or even more basic, getting through this week of studying. The pills together with the hypomania have left me with no ability to concentrate, I can go for an hour but then I have to break for long. So I push through every day, not particularly proud of my accomplishments. A piece in the bible that has encouraged me time and time again through these 2 months is Matthew 6v26-34
Mat 6:26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren’t you?
Mat 6:27 Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying?
Mat 6:28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies in the field and how they grow. They don’t work or spin yarn,
Mat 6:29 but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
Mat 6:30 Now if that is the way God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and thrown into an oven tomorrow, won’t he clothe you much better—you who have little faith?
Mat 6:31 “So don’t ever worry by saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’
Mat 6:32 because it is the gentiles who are eager for all those things. Surely your heavenly Father knows that you need all of them!
Mat 6:33 But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well.
Mat 6:34 So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
In this piece I am reminded that God looks after the birds and the flowers even though they don’t put in the effort to have food or be dressed, so then how much more will God not look after me firstly because I am not a flower but his prized possession and secondly I do put effort in for these things. It is important here to see the difference, worrying about something won’t get you anywhere cos it’s just a thought, but actions that spring from thinking about life’s challenges might buy you an extra few minutes here on this planet. So once again Jesus is not knocking us down for trying to do something about what bogs us down, He has a problem with us being bogged down. The beauty comes in verse 32 where He says “surely your heavenly father knows that you need all of them!” This is so encouraging again because I don’t have to feel foolish for paying attention to what needs to be done every day like study, get dressed pay some bills, my father knows these things need to happen and He doesn’t minimise their importance, He minimizes their value in terms of taking up emotional and mental space in your life. An unbeliever cannot stop thinking and fretting about tomorrow because they don’t know if their best efforts will be enough because they do not have a God, who cares for everything on earth, especially his children. If you’ve done what you can, stop there and don’t concern yourself further with it, God will take care of it. Rather think upon the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Isn’t that just a bargain! I trade in my worries, which are in any case useless, for the Kingdom. And that is what God wants! Sometimes we might feel that we aren’t being very responsible if we don’t take up every worry and continuously fret about all that needs to be looked after, but here God is requesting that we give it up after we’ve tried and that we don’t look back or ahead for that matter; “tomorrow will worry about itself” God specifically says that we must only do what we can today, if we try to do everything for let’s say the next week, we will find ourselves worrying again . We are not in control, we can only manage today and we have to let each day’s successes build up so that we may have more confidence in our Christ given abilities to live each day with conviction and power to overcome and achieve all that this world throws at us and to be more believing of His providence.
I have to tackle the books now, and even thinking about what I need to achieve today bogs me down, so I’m going to take this message and break it down some more and say I’m only going to do what I can do this morning, I’m not going to think about this afternoon, that will come later. God takes pleasure in a soul that finds its rest and also his dependence in Him, what we must remember is that even though we “toil” for all these things that need to get done, when they do get taken care of, it is still a gift from God and not the product of our hard work. SO worrying is so old it really only gets me down and steals precious ‘kingdom’ time from me and God knows I need my ‘kingdom’ time to keep my head on straight, so I guess I’m going to give it a go, no more worries for me.