Wisdom Over Worry: Moving Forward Together
A year ago this month marked the beginning of a season unlike any other. Rain. Lots of it. It just kept coming.
It was my first spring in Winfield, and I was not prepared for what we experienced. A small ditch that ran along the end of my backyard became a rushing flood. Basements filled. Fields were ruined. Bliss Street, which, on a good day, drains about as well as a clogged toilet, had to be shut down.
The Walnut River flooded its banks. And then did it again. And then again. The fairgrounds disappeared under raging rapids. If I remember correctly, the rain lasted about 40 days and 40 nights, and animals started showing up at the church two-by-two.
OK, I’m exaggerating a little. But not by much. By the end of the month we all knew, without a doubt, we’d never forget the spring of 2019.
Well, the spring of 2020 would like your attention, please.
This spring has also been unprecedented. But in a different way. The river is behaving. Bliss Street is usable. But an entirely new threat has rocked our world. And now, I can’t help but wonder something else. What could possibly happen in the spring of 2021?
I don’t want to think about it.
1. Jesus tells us not to worry about the future. Matthew records a pretty powerful sermon in which Jesus tells his followers that worrying is a massive waste of time.
“Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34 (CEB).
If all we do is skip from one worry to another, we’re not only wearing ourselves out, we’re denying God’s rightful place as Lord and caretaker of our lives. If we depend only on our preparation and strength to overcome obstacles, we just may miss out on God’s promise to provide.
So if it rains, it rains. If the wind blows, the wind blows. If a virus sickens, it sickens. Disaster of any kind will never change the fact that we are God’s people, and He cares for us.
2. However, refusing to worry does NOT mean refusing to be smart. In the same sermon, Jesus went on to explain how his followers must exercise wisdom and discipline. Careful planning and intelligence matter.
“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock. But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.” Matthew 7:24-27 (CEB).
In other words, you can have as much faith as you want, but that won’t change the consequences of poor decision making. God gave us a brain for a reason. We should probably use it.
When it comes to floods, illness or some other disaster, we don’t allow our response to be dominated by worry, but we also don’t leave our brain behind. We prepare, we take precautions and we move forward with the promises of a loving, caring God leading the way.
So let’s move forward - cautiously, wisely and trusting in God.
Will you join me in prayer as the leaders of our church meet this week seeking a path forward in reopening our church services and ministries? We will not worry. We will not fear. And we will not proceed foolishly. On Christ the Solid Rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.
Thank you for your prayers.
‘til the storm passes by,