Big Takeaway: God gives us the freedom to choose where we place our focus, on tomorrow’s trouble or today’s joy.
Last week, Kyle and I were preparing dinner with the murmur of the evening news on in the background. I glanced at the TV screen and saw an alarming statistic about lower-than-average reading levels in our school district, followed by a story about a shooting and another about a car accident on the interstate.
My stress spiral began.
What will school be like for our kids?
Kyle travels for work. What if something happens to him while he's on the road?
Should we just stay at home and never go out in public again?
Like lightning during a severe thunderstorm, one worst-case scenario thought after another struck my mind in a rapid-fire fashion. My body began to feel the weight of my worry as I stood in the middle of our kitchen, silently stressing over circumstances I have zero control over.
Have you been here, too?
Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 (ESV), “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I’ve read this verse countless times and admittedly grew numb to its power for one reason or another. But sitting at our wooden dining table the morning after my news-induced stress spiral, God revealed its power in a new way.
The Holy Spirit laid this challenging question on my heart:
If you’re worried about tomorrow’s potential trouble, are you fully embracing today’s joy?
Like the joy of a yellow sunrise, drinking a hot cup of coffee, seeing a toothy smile on a child’s face, or smelling fresh flowers in a mason jar. These are the joys I don’t want to miss out on, and I don’t believe God wants you to miss out on them either.
God gives us the freedom to choose where we place our focus, on tomorrow’s trouble or today’s joy.
As we all navigate stressful circumstances in and out of our control, may we remember the joy God has in store for us today. Because of Jesus, it’s ours for the taking. Reflect:
1. Is there something out of your control that causes you to worry? Here's a prayer I've been praying that's helped me find relief: Lord, forgive me when I worry. Help me continually lay my stress at your feet and replace it with the joy you have for me today. Amen. Remember, God hears our prayers! (John 16:24, 1 Peter 3:12, 1 John 5:15)