Stop Worrying; Stop Striving: Hearing God’s Heart in Luke 12

Notice how the lilies grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, how much more will God do for you, you people of weak faith! Don’t chase after what you will eat and what you will drink. Stop worrying. All the nations of the world long for these things. Your Father knows that you need them. Instead, desire his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:27-31 CEB

I love spring. My sinuses hate it, but I love it. It’s a visual word picture of God’s faithfulness, of the coming answers to prayers, of God’s comfort coming to each one of us.

The glory of all of Creation’s promise is there… yelling it out:

Can’t you see it? Our Redeemer lives!

(Yes, I know we are still in Lent. But the disciplines of Lent, the work of the Holy Spirit in changing me and working through my imperfect life is because of the Resurrection!)

My Lenten disciplines have not been so burdensome. Truth be told, it’s great not to get hung up on the latest and greatest kvetching on Facebook, or waste an hour or two playing on Pinterest. I’m hoping that when I pick them back up next month, it will be with renewed self-discipline and discretion on using my time wisely. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. I’ve needed the time to think through my next direction as a chaplain and pastor, to write with clarity on the issues that are dear to my heart. Staying away from social media has been helpful.

There’s been a lot on my plate, too. Twice over the last week I was moved to tears. Tears for longing things could be different… and knowing it wouldn’t be. Tears that an answer to prayer was “no”. Tears as I prayed that pain would be diminished, and that the sad and grieving could feel the Presence of God listening, comforting, and bringing hope.

So when I took a short walk outside on Saturday when I was on call, I was encouraged and blessed by seeing the start of the spring flowers. Magnolias, cherries, red buds, daffodils, crocuses… even against the background of concrete and office buildings, there was beauty. And the promise of God doing something new.

Frankly, I needed the break because I was in a stew. It was a situation I could not change. And it was a time for me to step back and trust that God’s got this one, too.

I went back to my office and re-read Luke 12…

Stop worrying.

I’ll try, Abba. I’ll try.

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