“What if?”

First off let me start with a confession. The busyness of life has gotten the better of this family this past month and we have only managed to squeeze in a few days of family devotion time yet as I look at those few times, I always see such beauty.

One of the days we managed to do Good Dirt, was a day on which Jesus taught us not to worry. Matthew 6:26 has always been one of my favorite verses; however, it was not in the context of worry for me, rather a reminder of my value as a person—that I am valuable enough to be cared for by God. I realized as I went through these verses with my children that it is easy for children growing up in a healthy household to trust God to provide for them because their parents do. It is as we grow up and begin to see the world around us that we start to need to learn this lesson of “do not worry”.

In the past year, I have been witness to many tragedies, horror stories and realities, that thankfully as a child, I didn’t know could happen to people I actually knew. It is seeing this reality, these horrors of the world around me that causes me to know why Jesus taught about not worrying in Matthew 6. When you begin to realize that these troubles of the world are a real thing, are not unusual, the temptation to fall into worry and thinking of the great “what if?” of life can become all consuming, which is why once again I say a prayer of gratefulness of being a parent.

When you are in the middle of toddler and baby chaos some days it’s easy to fall into envy of single or childless people. But wait, what does that have to do with worry? Well I may homeschool my son, but daily my children teach me in God’s ways. As we read this scripture I asked my children what three things Jesus specifically says not to worry about, and my son quickly responses “food, your clothes and the day.” That’s when it hits me, we often fear the day, the moment when each day no longer becomes a blessing but rather a day of “what if.”

To not worry is more easily said than done, it takes conscious effort every day to choose to not worry. One thing works best for me: a heart of gratitude. When I think on my worries, the things that could happen or what I do not have, I become frantic, irritable and frankly rather selfish. But when I think of all that I have, when each morning instead of waking up thinking of how little sleep I had, thinking on what a gift it is to have another day where I am healthy, blessed with three wonderful children, a great marriage, worries don’t find a way in. Celebrating that each day, each penny received, each plate of food put in front of me, is more than most in the world has, I find that peace and joy easily replace worry. This is something that my children teach me. The joy of having a favorite food, or a soda on a hot day, rejoicing over playing a great game with their friends and laughing at the fact that you can make another person laugh. Where is worry to be found amongst such? “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10:15

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