In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus covers worry in all aspects. He talks about what it does to our bodies, our spiritual life, and how to defeat worry.
I think it is interesting that Jesus starts out talking about worry with eating. So many of us turn to comfort food when we are stress out over what is going on. Emotional eating is a big problem and can lead to all types of physical problems. Why do we eat when we get stressed out? Much of it is due to worrying over something we have no control over.
Jesus knows how we stress out over food, just look at Martha as she was getting a meal ready for Jesus and His disciples. She got stressed out big time, so stressed that she wanted Jesus to tell Mary off for her because Mary was being lazy in Martha’s eyes. Martha needed her help in the kitchen and Mary was just sitting listening to every word that Jesus spoke. Instead of getting after Mary, Jesus rebuked Martha about being worried over stuff that wasn’t important. Basically, Jesus told Martha a 12-course dinner was not necessary when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would do. It was more important to sit and listen to His teaching than to stress over food.
When Jesus told us to stop worrying, He pointed out that the birds don’t worry about what they eat, when they are going to eat, or where their next meal is going to come from. Let’s look at a couple birds and how much they eat a day. A robin eats the equivalent of 14 feet of earthworms, a penguin eats 13 pounds of fish a day. Now for the bird that is the biggest eater of all, the hummingbird eats up to 3 times its body weight a day. You don’t see any of the birds stressing out, well maybe the hummingbirds around my mom’s house will buzz the kitchen window if the feeder is empty and the quail will come look in the back door if she is late putting their seed out, but they know God will supply their needs.
When we worry we take what is supposed to be in God’s control because we feel that God has too much on His plate in order to take care of what we need. We don’t feel valuable enough for God to even bother with us. This is when I sit down and read Psalm 139 to get my focus back where it needs to be and remind myself just how valuable I am to God.
Corrie ten Boom has a great answer to Jesus’ question in Matthew 6:27; “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Worry destroys the body physically.
Going back to Martha. Can you imagine how exhausted she felt in rushing about the house trying to get everything perfect for dinner when Jesus was done with teaching? She had taken on a task that wasn’t her’s to take on. Surely she had heard about the feeding of the 5,000 or maybe she was even there when it happened. If Jesus wanted a 12-course meal He could have made one Himself.
When we take control away from God we invite worry to take control of our hearts. We run ourselves physically ragged by doing something God didn’t give us to do. Don’t you think it is time to stop worrying about what is not in our control and give the control back to God?