By Michael E. Brooks
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34 NKJV).
Earlier this week, Brenda and I completed our return to Alabama after almost three months in Bangladesh and Nepal. As mentioned in last weeks column, we were quite concerned about our return flight through Bangkok, Thailand because of anti-government protesters’ occupation of the airports there and the consequent shut down of all flights for about one week. We did not know if our flights would be affected, nor how we might be able to adjust if they were.
As it developed, there was no negative effect upon our travel at all. One would never have known that anything out of the ordinary had taken place. The airport was clean, all services were functioning, and our flights went as scheduled. If anything, the airport was quieter and more efficient than normal.
Thankfully, we had taken a fairly calm approach through the whole affair. We had several days advance warning, we knew that events had time to develop and that there was little we could do until we knew exactly what we would be facing, if then. Worry would not help any, so we did as little of that as was possible for us under the circumstances. As it turned out, there was no reason to panic; all went well.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that that is the correct attitude at all times. Worry does not help. Anxiety and fear over uncontrollable circumstances are only negative. It is far better to trust in God’s concern and help, and leave those things beyond our control to the One with total control over all things. That especially goes for those things that are in the future. We should deal with the present; that is all that we can directly influence. And that is enough for us to worry about.
This does not mean that we should not or cannot make plans for tomorrow, or next year. But it does affect the kinds of plans we make and the attitude we have towards those plans. James teaches,
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16).
Make plans, but allow room in those plans for the Lord. We must acknowledge our frailty and God’s sovereignty in all that we do. That not only honors God, it also removes anxiety and worry from us. When we surrender control and accept his will, walking always by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), we can have true confidence in all that we do. Whatever happens will be for our good (Romans 8:28) and will fulfill his purpose.