“I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:25, 34)
We need to eat, we need shelter, healthcare, cars, wheelchairs, heat, air-conditioning… all these things cost money, and we need that, too. But then we're told these things don’t really matter. Our lives here don't really matter. And on top of all of this hard work doing things that we don't really need to do in order to attain all these things we don't really need to have, we're called to do the work of the Lord. How can God possibly ask me to spare more??
Sometimes it's difficult to accept that good enough is enough. Maybe we don't have the nicest car, but that '95 cutlass gets us from A to B most of the time. Maybe we don't have the house we've always dreamed of, but the few rooms we do have keep us warm and dry. Maybe we can't afford the newest medications that our insurance won't cover, but what we're taking keeps us healthy enough.
We ought to be grateful for enough. That old car, that small house, that generic medication, that lack of energy, the cyclical futility of work and bill-paying, it's all a little easier to swallow when we remember that Jesus won our reward for us. THAT goal is met. In the meantime, our goal here isn't a mansion, it isn't a worry-free retirement, and it isn't even perfect health or to live as long as humanly possible. It's not to gain an extra special place in heaven, either. Our goal is to serve God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and with all that we are. Why? Well, because we can.
Jesus wasn't saying that our lives here are meaningless. He was saying that our salvation doesn't depend on them, and apart from our salvation, what else really matters? So, we thank God for our daily bread, although it's not caviar, and maybe buy a loaf or two for the local food bank because some people don't have enough of the things we don't need. We thank God for each new day, painful though we know each day will be, and maybe stop by to visit a sick friend because we know they're hurting too. We ask God to watch over us at night, and should we die under that watchful eye, we look forward to seeing His face because we will, whether we bought those loaves of bread or not because Jesus fed thousands.
That's the miracle of a true gift. We're not working off some debt. We're not obligated by Jesus' boundless mercy. We're simply loving God by loving His children because He loved us first. That's freest FREEDOM I know.
Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is 1 John 4:19
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"We love -------> 5 count inhale
because He first loved us." -------> 5 count exhale