Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Cure for Worry and Anxiety

I know this may sound weird, but sometimes I love to get down on the ground in my backyard to get a good close look at all the little plants, sticks and rocks. What amazes me is the detail in some of the smallest of those little plants.

Most people have a fascination with beautiful flowers. The zoo in our city built an entire facility called the botanical gardens just for gazing at plants. Large flowers like irises and gladiolas are always striking and stunning in their shape and colors. But have you ever stopped to take a look at the flowers that pop open in the smallest of plants right in your backyard?

The photo included in this article is one I took in my own yard. It’s a picture of a weed. That’s right, a tiny plant that is here today, gone tomorrow. It’s a plant that I wouldn’t think twice of either pulling out of the ground root and all, drenching with weed killer, or plowing down with my mower.

Take a moment and study the photo. Admire the complexity of this little purple flower. The colors are exquisite. The shape of the flower is almost tropical in design. The little “hairs” on the tops of each petal are unique. Even the green leaves underneath each flower have an almost Victorian look. All this beauty and intricacy — in a weed!

As I was on my hands and knees, phone in hand, trying to get the best shot of this tiny flowering weed I’m sure the neighbors thought I was a bit crazy. But there on the ground, as I sat gazing with amazement I was reminded of an important lesson the Lord Jesus teaches in the Scriptures. It’s one of those lesser to greater lessons that he used so often to get us to focus on the truths of the character and promises of God.

“See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28b-30)

This passage reminds me that God knows we are prone to anxiety. Our hearts and minds are bent towards worry. Jesus teaches believers that the cure to worry is to consider the flowers. Consider the reality that if God so decorates the flower of a weed that is here today and gone tomorrow, he will surely care for his adopted children who he has secured for all eternity through Jesus Christ.

How often we run here and there fretting over small and great things! How little we stop and take the time to marvel at the tiniest of flowers and use that as a lesson to remember the teachings of our Lord. The way to combat the frantic worried mind and heart is to stop and look at the flowers God has created. When we marvel at the beauty, creative mastery, colors, shape (and even smell), of something as insignificant as a flowering weed it should cause us to be reminded that God cares infinitely more for his adopted children than for that weed dressed in colors Solomon only dreamed about. And if that be the case, what in the world do we really have to worry about? Oh, we of little faith indeed!

If you are like me, you sometimes feel paralyzed by worry and anxiety. Over time I have slowly come to realize two important things. First, worry is a sin because we are in essence doubting God’s goodness and his providence. Second, the cure to worry and anxiety is to saturate your mind with the great truths of the word of God and his character. How amazing is it that our Lord teaches us to gaze at little flowers to help us be reminded of both of these truths!

So next time you are out and about, take a moment to stoop down and marvel at something as insignificant as a flowering weed. If you marvel through the lens of Scripture, it will be a balm to your weary anxious soul.

Battling the Lust Dragon

“How shall we who have died to sin continue to live in it?” (Rom. 6:2)

We’d probably sin less if we spent less time thinking about our sins, sexual or otherwise, and more time meditating on the love and holiness of God.” – Kevin DeYoung

That quote by Kevin DeYoung is key to our battle again all types of sin. Sexual sin is often one of those “dragon” sins that is so difficult to slay. Sexual immorality is rampant in today’s culture and sadly it is a tremendous sin within the church. Statistics on  pornography usage are so saddening – even among church leaders. According to Covenant Eyes, a respectable online accountability company, there have been over 3.1 billion searches for internet pornography since 2015. (covenanteyes.com/pornstats/)

One cannot help but be bombarded with sexual temptation given the amount of sex on television, movies, the internet and even on billboards. I know all too well the lure of sexual temptation through the internet, television, and magazines. I struggled with (or more like wallowed in) internet pornography for many years and know how wicked and evil this sin truly is. It’s first and foremost a sin against Christ and then against yourself and others. The Lord rescued me from the bondage of this sin and I can rejoice in Him that I have been free from it for quite some time now. But I also know all too well the reality of the remnants of the sinful flesh that believers continue to battle with. I’d be foolish to let my guard down! We are called to be ever-vigilant and set barriers to protect our eyes, hearts, and minds from the temptations that are common to all mankind. No one is immune to temptation! As Robert Murray-McCheyne put it, “The seed of every sin known to man is in my heart.”

Continue reading Battling the Lust Dragon