Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)

Most people in my Bible class at the Meaford Long Term Care Centre have worries. Some are unable to get around without help; others are having trouble remembering. There are those who worry about their families and, in some cases, their spouses from whom they are separated. Some worry about the fact that the life that they were so used to is a thing of the past, never to return again. The fear of death is a reality to some of them. When they express their concerns to me, it is really easy for me to quote some Bible passages:

Psalm 46:1-2a – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. (NKJV)

Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. (NKJV)

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (NKJV)

But I have to be honest with you: I don't always practice what I preach (or write). I am known in my family as a worrier. My daughter gave me a plaque one time which says, "Don't worry — it may never happen." Indeed, most of the things that I worry about don't happen.

In Luke 10 is the story of Jesus visiting His friends Martha and Mary. He showed up unexpectedly it seems, and Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She needed to decide what to have for dinner, go to the market, prepare the food, cook the meat, and entertain their guest — a hundred things to do. But Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet, not worrying about a thing, just listening to Him. Finally in desperation, she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, and Jesus answered, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42 NKJV)

Martha was so busy worrying about the problems that she thought were facing her all of a sudden that she thought she did not have time to "choose the good part" — that is listening to and believing in Jesus.

When we worry about "things", we have a tendency to forget that God is there for us, that we can come to Him in prayer, and that He will hear our prayers. Every time we worry about something, we need to remind ourselves of that very fact.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that in all the busyness of life, we will take the time to put our worries aside and listen to Your voice in our hearts and minds. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional.

    Like you, Joel, I am a part-time worrier. Two years ago, my husband and I left a church we had been members of for over 45 years. On Feb. 15, 2015, we will celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary. From the 2 years we have been searching for a new church home, we have learned we were not alone in our search. Six months ago we found our new church home when we realized we may not know the future but we know who does and we trust Him. May we always trust Him who creates, guides, and loves us in ways that are and always will be a mystery to we mere humans. I do not lead a Bible study but since my parents are gone, I have been a caregiver for and supporter of the elderly that are a part of my neighbourhood — I live in a gated community which has 224 seniors living here.

    Thank you, Joel. You have captured the art of worrying beautifully. I was most touched by your line.
    “When we worry about ‘things’, we have a tendency to forget that God is there for us.”
    Blessings on your day and be blessed in your writings.

    A good word Joel. Always timely.

    I have appreciated your many writings in the Daily Devotional over the years. Thanks for all of them. This one on worry is particularly relevant for me as I am recently unemployed from a large financial institution in Toronto (corporate downsize). We have a second home in Meaford and will be moving permanently to the area in the near years ahead. Do you worship at Knox? We were there a few months ago, before the new minister was called (Lisa?), and I pray that she will help in leading a revitalized and renewed community together at that place, guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Powerful, Joel.
    Thanks for your ministry and your message today. It is a good one all need to hear. I’m afraid we all lose sight of those Scripture verses when we tend to worry.

    Joel: The one thing omitted from your fine devotional is the loneliness of elderly people. Those who supposedly care seldom ask to listen to their wonderful stories of the past. They ask questions that can be answered with yes, no, or silence. They lack interest in the person they think they respect. Ask open-ended questions like “Please tell me about…” There are hundreds of words that he/she would be able to respond to eagerly and clearly.

    Amen! Great message Joel.

    I liked reading this devotional. It is informative.

    Hard to get over worrying isn’t it! Yet God—

    Thank you so much for your devotionals, which I always appreciate. I am glad that you are having a Bible study at a Long Term Care Centre. I talk each morning with a cousin of my mother’s who is 92 and is still living alone. She has severe macular degeneration and is filled with worries. Right now, I am praying for the people in your study group and I would ask for a brief prayer for Helen and for me that I may help her to realize God’s love for her.

    Great devotional, thank you. I know where you’re coming from. I find that it is very easy to write when everything is okay with myself, but when confronted with a uncertainty, somehow “worry” seems to creep in. I think of “practice what you preach or write”.

    Thank you for the very practical, biblical devotional.
    We all need to be more like Mary in, “Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NKJV)
    Keep writing.

    A beautiful message leading us to the foot of the cross when we are burdened and afraid of what might happen in our lives and the lives of those we love and indeed in the lives of those world wide. It is a dangerous, sinful world we live in, and but for the grace of God, who promises He will never leave nor forsake us, we would be a lost generation with no hope for a secure eternity.
    I, too, am a worrier, and the plaque your daughter gave to you reads correctly. Many of the problems we worry about, never happen, and we have gone through days and nights of worry for nothing.
    Again, this was a lovely message alerting us to the fact God knows everything that causes us to be heavy-hearted and wants us to take our trials and concerns to Him. He waits with open arms to guide and protect us.
    All said and done, over the years, I have always felt sorry for poor Martha. I bet folks would have been upset if there was no dinner prepared.

    Dear Joel: I took your message today as “I need to learn this”, printing it off and saving it, I need to be spending time praying instead of worrying. Thanks.
    (OK. USA)

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