Bible Reading: Luke 12:1-34
I’ve got a question for you. “Do you believe that God can, and will, provide the things that you need in this life?” Your answer to that question will largely determine the level of your stress and anxiety. God has told us to focus our faith on Him…and He will focus His provision on us. The problem is that we tend to focus on us, on ourself. We forget that God will provide and live like we must provide for ourself. Then, we get stressed when it appears that we cannot do it. When we do that…we remove ourself from God’s provision.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
You know, that since Grandma and I are huge University of Florida Gator fans, you won’t find us cheering very often for the Florida State Seminoles. Those two colleges are big rivals. But I am a fan of Bobbie Bowden, the former Head Football Coach for the Seminoles. From everything I know he is a fine Christian man and was certainly a great coach. I once saw him on television speaking to a preseason football crowd. He told them that 21 years before, when he first went to FSU, he kept running into people who were quick to tell him why FSU could not build a great football tradition. They knew all the reasons…all the problems…all the troubles. So one day, when he was with a group of those “nay sayers” (those are people who can always tell you what’s wrong…but can seldom tell you how to fix it, or what’s right), he told them this story.
It seems that some years ago there was this old man who had a little hot-dog stand along a busy highway down in central Florida. For some time he sold hot-dogs and he just barely managed to keep the business open. Then one day he came up with an idea. He would stand out by the road and wave people in to his business. He did so and business picked up. Then he decided that it might help if he put up some signs along the road advertising his hot-dog stand. He bought some signs and put them up and sure enough, the business began to grow. After a while he had to order more and more hot-dogs and buns. In fact, business was so good that he was able to pay to send his son off to college.
His son had been away at college for about two years when he decided to come home for a visit. He went to his father and said, “Dad, what are you doing here with the hot-dog stand? Don’t you know that the economy is down? Why, any day now we could have a recession, or a depression, or something else bad. And don’t you realize that with the threat of trade embargoes with China and the Russian Diplomats being thrown out of the country that the world scene is very unstable and the value of the dollar is down? And what about the threat of famine and war? Dad, you can’t keep spending money like this or your business will go broke!”
His father said, “I didn’t realize that the country was in such bad shape.”
So, he stopped waving people into the business. He took down all of his signs. He cut back on his orders of hot-dogs and buns. And do you know what happened? His business went broke.
Not long after he was talking to his son and said, “You know son, I sure am glad I talked with you. I didn’t realize just how bad things really were!”
Were things really that bad? No. His son was just stressed out over some things, and he worried too much about other things. It’s easy to do that. Sometimes we become anxious, or worried about matters that we have no control over. Especially, if we think that they are the most important matters in our life. I mean, come on…who wouldn’t worry about providing the basics like food and clothing for your family. But here is what is strange…worrying, and being anxious, and getting stressed out never helped anything. Don’t misunderstand. We are to pay attention to those things. And, we should even be concerned that we provide for our family. But…well, why don’t we let Jesus explain it.
Jesus once told a parable about a farmer who had lots of land and grew huge crops of grain on it. One year, he harvested so much grain that he didn’t have anyplace to store it all. So, he decided that he would build some new barns to store it in. Then, he would just sit back and enjoy all the money that he would make selling the grain for many, many years to come. Life was good! But Jesus told them that on that very night the farmer died and had to appear before God to be judged for what he had done with his life. All the man had ever done was grow grain, and more grain. He had never paid any attention to spiritual matters. Now what good would all that grain be to him? It would no longer be a blessing to him on earth, and he certainly couldn’t take it with him to Heaven. Then Jesus said, “That is what happens when a man has lots of the worlds riches, but none of Heaven’s riches.” He went on to tell them that while we should pay attention to the riches of the world…they should not be the priority in our life. The riches of Heaven are far more important. In fact, if we will make God’s kingdom and His riches the priority in our life…then God will see to it that all of our needs in our life on earth are taken care of. Jesus said, “…your Father knows that you need those things.”
So, what does that mean? It frees me up from worry, and stress, and anxiety about the things of this world. I don’t mean for this to sound bad, but…let God worry about it. It’s His business. And He is a whole lot better at providing the things that I need than I am. After all, it’s His world and He can give it to whomever He wants. In fact, Jesus said, “…your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” We fret and fume about stuff on earth that has a very short shelf life. And in the meantime, God has opened up the riches of His kingdom to us that will last for all of eternity.
What are we to do? Well, I’m going to turn my attention to God’s kingdom. I’m going to focus my efforts on knowing Him, and following Him, and worshipping Him. And, I’m going to let Him take care of the rest. Wow, I feel better, already. God’s got it in control. God’s got my life in control. How about you? Are you focusing your attention on the things of this world…or, on God?
Love you more than bunches and bunches,