Worry is a disease that cripples and slowly kills. The cure is placing our faith in God.
But how do we keep the faith when our world is crumbling all around us? Paul gives us the answer in his letter to the Philippians:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Ever feel as if you’re losing the race? Falling short? Running out of time and money?
My favorite “I Love Lucy” episode was the one where Lucy worked in the chocolate factory with her friend and frequent co-conspirator Ethel.
Their job was to wrap up the chocolates as they came down the factory conveyor belt. They were told if they missed one single chocolate they would be fired. Talk about pressure!
At first, they found the task easy and they grew in confidence. But soon they started to get behind, and then they panicked and did anything they could to cover up the evidence of their struggles. They started to eat the chocolates and even stuffed them in their shirts and their hats.
When their supervisor showed up to check on their progress, they realized they had fooled her. So what was their reward? Their boss sped up the conveyor belt.
The scene is one of the great comedic episodes of television history. If you never had a chance to enjoy it, you should!
But unfortunately, for many of us it hits too close to home. Because when we try to keep up with the speed of life in our own strength the conveyor belt is always going to win. Eventually we’ll end up with a pressure-filled pit in our stomach and our face smothered with chocolate.
The litmus test of a well-lived life is detailed in God’s Word. For the Bible teaches us through the words of Paul that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.
Does that describe your life?
Do any of those fruits resemble anxiety? If we are stressed out are we falling short of the Glory of God? Should we be concerned? Jesus is clear in his directions regarding worry:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Contentment is learning to “want what we have” rather than “having what we want.” Contentment is not a wealth issue, it’s a heart issue.
Being content is the most heartfelt way we can express our gratitude for God’s provision. And what a wonderful way to share our faith with anyone. Few ways express our faith in God more profoundly than staying calm during the storms of life.
But the key point of Paul’s verse is, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Know that we live in a society that idolizes a spirit of yearning, striving, competing and reaching for more. Being content in “any and every situation” is not something we’re capable of accomplishing on our own. We need God’s strength to be successful.
So maybe…just maybe we’ve been praying for the wrong thing all along.
Rather than praying for more, different, better or bigger, how about we pray for something God wants to bless us with abundantly?
If you think about it, it’s a frightening prayer. But instantly, it can change everything, and chase all of our worries away.
So how about it? What do you say we hop off of the conveyor belt and pray for contentment?
Then we can start enjoying life again, one chocolate at a time.
Ready for more articles like this one? Check out No Sarcasm – Not Today
Learn more about the author Michael K. Reynolds