Nineteenth Day of Lent

Matthew 6:25-34

Friends, I smile as I sit to write this. I cannot think of a text more appropriate to contemplate in this season of my life. Indeed, the past six months have been full of anxious moments, worry-inducing diagnoses, and fearful statistics. Cancer tends to bring these things to the table, en masse.

As we anticipate the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, it may be difficult to imagine how He handled being faced with his own mortality. He was fully God, wrapped in a fully human frame and humans don’t live forever. Some of us are faced with the stark truth of this earlier in our earthly lives than we hoped.  He was only in His 33rd year of life when the weight of the world’s sin came heavily upon His shoulders. The consequence of that sin was death. We see Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, expressing his desire for God‘s will to be done, even above His own desires. For the rest of us, mere mortals, contemplating our own death can bring on a bit of anxiety. Ok, let’s be honest here—more than a bit of anxiety.

And yet, we see in today’s text an opportunity for a different response to life and all it brings. We are encouraged, yea even exhorted, not to worry. God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers in splendor; He loves us immeasurably more than those. And so, the response from us ought to be trust. Trust is easier spoken than lived. So then, what are we to do?

Verse 33 gives us the answer. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.” As earlier alluded, these past few months have been deep waters for my family and me.  I can tell you, with all confidence, that in these, our own personal Gardens of Gethsemane, when we cry out to God asking for this cup to pass and His will be done, He hears!  Oh friends how He longs to clothe us in splendor and feed us until our bellies are full—it may not look like we expect, or even want, but it will always be more than enough.

If you find yourself in a season of anxiety, may you also find yourself on your knees, calling out to the One who gives every good and perfect gift. May peace and comfort be among them.

Tracy Ashley
Balfour, BC