A woman who was 109 years old was interviewed recently, and she was asked the secret to her long life. Her answer? She drinks 3 Dr. Pepper’s a day. Doctors would tell her not to do this, but those same doctors she has outlived. Maybe there is something to those 21 flavors of Dr. Pepper.
But you want to know what she didn’t say? She didn’t say that worry was the secret to long life. She didn’t mention worry as being helpful to reaching 109 years, and perhaps that goes without saying.
Worry isn’t helpful with much. Worry didn’t help me graduate from college or seminary, didn’t help me get a wife or friends. In fact worry was an annoying obstacle for those things. And when it comes to living longer, worry seems to take life rather than add.
You know Jesus picked up on how unhelpful worry is when he said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27) In other words, what value does worry add to life or to anything else? Answer? None. So Jesus goes on to tell us, “Don’t worry!” And specifically, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” (Matthew 6:34)
How many reading this paper are planners or at least in some way account for the future? We have an amazing ability to see what’s on the horizon in life whether with the kids, or at work. On the horizon I hope to see the Cubs winning the World Series - could be the year! But it is this very ability to plan and see what is on the horizon that is also linked to our worries. A case could be made that the more you plan or concern yourself with the future the more you worry.
And consider your worries. How many of them actually have to do with today? How many of them are actionable items or going on right now. Often we worry about the kids, not because of today but because of what we perceive in the future. The same thing could be said of our financial future, the state of country, the issue of terrorism, our job status. Many of these worries are all about the future and not about today.Another pastor said that worry is smuggling tomorrow’s trouble into today.
So what should we do, and how can we not worry about tomorrow? Look to Jesus. He is the one who said he was the resurrection and the life, and then proved his point. He is the one who was handed over to death on a cross for our sins. He is the one who three days later, when no one expected it, rose from the dead. The one who conquered death is the one who calls you not to worry. The one who paid for our sins and won our peace says you don’t have to worry.
And if we are so adamant of thinking on tomorrow, why not think about the greatest tomorrow? The greatest tomorrow we look forward to is life with Jesus in heaven. A life with no more sin, no more crying, no more pain, no more death - no more reasons for worry. But while we are still in this life, why not let that greatest tomorrow eclipse the lesser tomorrows. Live in view of what’s coming for us for eternity. When we do that we can say with Paul, whatever trouble comes tomorrow will be light and momentary compared to eternity.
May God bless you with the strength to focus just on today’s troubles. May he give you comfort that the greatest trouble of sin has been paid for. May he give you vision to see as he conquered death so shall you and enjoy that greatest tomorrow with him.