Is life just an endless worry until we die?

Wouldn’t it be great having nothing to worry about? – your health’s good, no family issues, stacks of money, lots of friends, great neighbourhood, safe city and secure job. 

But where on this planet is life actually like that? There’s always something gumming up the works wherever you go. If you build your house on a hill, for instance, it’s exposed to hurricanes. Build it on lowland instead, and it’s vulnerable to floods. Throw in earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, ice storms and forest fires, plus accidents, pandemics and terrorism, and truth is: life’s an eggshell. It’s fragile.

It’s not an easy truth to accept. Adam and Eve didn’t accept it either, which made it very easy for the serpent to lie to them. “You won’t die,” he said, “you’ll be fine.” A worry-free life was an easy sell. It is today, too. We shell out huge amounts of cash on insurance, warranties, home security, investments, pills and religion to worry-free ourselves. Safety and security are big business. Does any of it actually work, though? Well, no, because in the end we do actually die. Everything isn’t fine. The serpent was lying.

So how on earth could Paul say in Philippians 4:6, “There’s no need to worry about anything,” when there are tons of things to worry about? Because, he replies, we can take all our troubles to God and in return God gives us peace, verse 7

But how does that work in real life, pray tell? What about a father who’s lost his entire business in an earthquake, or a mother who’s given birth to a deeply handicapped baby? How can they not be worried about the future? Let’s be practical.

But God’s no stranger to our world and the awful things that happen, because he lived this life himself. He saturated himself in our suffering and death, vividly felt its pain, and he too cried buckets of tears at the hopelessness of it all. But Jesus did one thing differently: he never viewed God negatively when bad things happened. He didn’t blame God for being distant, uninvolved and uncaring. He didn’t ditch God for help from other sources, like Adam and Eve did.

And why didn’t he? Because one day, as the ever-present Jesus, he’d be able to live his attitude to God in us, so we could trust God like he did. Result? We’d discover the same secret Paul discovered: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do everything through him who gives me strength,” verses 12-13. Including not worry? Seems so. But Paul did admit it took a while to learn it.

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