I sat at my kitchen table as dusk turned to darkness outside, my eyes glued to my phone as an empty Amazon baby registry glared back at me. I looked at the clock. I should have started on dinner thirty minutes ago, I thought. Yet, while my better judgment told me to get cooking, my mind and body stayed put as my thumb scrolled and tapped on a seemingly endless number of products and reviews.
I was halfway through my first pregnancy, and after a good report at a recent doctor’s appointment, I figured it was time to get serious about making a baby registry. The only problem? I didn’t realize how overwhelming the task would be.
What started as a quick Google search soon turned into panic-inducing questions swirling around my mind: Which kind of baby monitor should I purchase? How can I know if a car seat is really safe? Do I actually have what it takes to care for a newborn? And how in the world am I going to survive on such little sleep? Worries like these circled my mind until “just a few more minutes” of scrolling turned into another hour.
Have you ever had one of these moments? Maybe for you, it wasn’t the stress (and joy!) of a growing family—maybe it was a season of career transition, a big move, or a family circumstance that threw you into uncharted territory. So often, as humans, we desire carefully laid-out plans and the ability to know what to expect around each corner. But what about the times when that’s just not possible? Do you, like me, find yourself overwhelmed and anxious with worries about the future?
If so, you are not alone. Thankfully, we can rest in the words of Jesus.
What Jesus Has to Say About Worry
Many of us are likely familiar with Jesus’s words in Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life. . .” I don’t know about you, but for me, this instruction often seems easier said than done. Sure, I’d like to set aside my worries, but how can I do so when there’s simply so much to worry about?
To start, let’s look at the context of this command. This verse comes amid Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus explains what it looks like to live in the kingdom of God, and with each teaching, He turns our expectations upside-down and invites us into deeper trust in Him. The same is true with the command not to worry.
Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t just leave us with this quick command, though. Instead, He goes on to explain why we don’t need to worry by incorporating two beautiful word pictures: the birds of the sky and the wildflowers of the field. Though neither the birds nor the wildflowers work or worry, God cares for them. How much more, then, will He care for His people?
Jesus ends this passage by telling His followers that they don’t need to worry about the practical concerns of life. Specifically, He addresses those worries that often take up so much space in our minds: what we will eat, drink, or wear. Twice in this chapter, Jesus reminds us that God is our Father who knows and cares for our needs (Matthew 6:8, 32). And so, from a place of abiding trust in Him, we can release these worries into His faithful hands.
An Invitation to Daily Dependence on God
Interestingly, this teaching connects to Jesus’s words earlier in the chapter, as well. In Matthew 6:9–13, Jesus provides His followers with the Lord’s Prayer, a model to guide their own prayers to the Lord. As a part of that prayer, Jesus teaches His disciples to approach God with this simple request: “Give us today our daily bread.”
With these words, Jesus doesn’t tell His followers to get their lives together and make a strategic plan for how they will provide for themselves. He doesn’t ask them to obsess about the details of their lives and every possibility that may occur. Instead, He invites them—and us—to look to God for provision, day after day.
How countercultural! In a world where so many of us are obsessed with planning and preparing for every potential outcome, Jesus teaches us a different way—a path of daily dependence on God alone.
Now, this isn’t to say we shouldn’t plan or prepare. Our planning and preparation can be good and God-honoring! But ultimately, we should submit even our best-laid plans (and our most perfectly curated baby registries) to Him. Instead of obsessing over what might happen in the future, we are called to trust God for what we need today, knowing He will always be faithful to provide it.
A Freeing Way to Live
When we stop and ponder these truths—when we consider the wildflowers, the birds, and the daily bread God provides—we can begin to see that this is actually a freeing way to live. While planning is good and helpful, it is not our ultimate hope. Our ultimate hope is in the Lord, who promises to provide what we need every day and has already given us everything we truly need in Christ (2 Peter 1:3). What comfort for our racing minds and anxious hearts!
As these truths began to settle in my heart, by the grace of God, I was able to set aside my anxious overwhelm. And—aided by Google, my husband, and the advice of some friends—I was eventually able to (mostly) finish putting together my baby registry with much less stress.
But even now, I am trying to remember not to put my hope in my own ability to provide for myself or my little one. Instead, I am trying, day by day, to put my hope in the God who knows what I really need before I even ask.
And dear friend, I pray the same would be true for you.
Note: At times, our feelings of worry can become overwhelming, debilitating, and all-consuming. If you believe that you are struggling with clinical anxiety, please seek the help of a qualified biblical counselor, along with your doctor. Together, these professionals can help direct you to the truths of God’s Word while attending to your specific physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
Additional Resources for Dealing with Worry: