Therefore I tell you, do not worry....

Graphic and Photo by Jennifer Shipman

“Don’t cry over spilled milk.” The old adage that means we shouldn’t worry or get upset over something unimportant. It’s not the end of the world, because we can clean it up or fix it.

Spilled milk on the stove – just a drop! – in the shape of a heart. God may or may not have intentionally shaped that spill, but He sure used it to to speak to me. It was His “still, small voice” saying “I love you. In everything, I love you!”

That was literal milk, but the metaphorical milk in our lives spills much more often. Sometimes by tiny drops and sometimes by the gallon. Or sometimes by the truckload. Some may be worth crying over a bit… or a lot. BUT GOD. Look at the shape of your spilled milk. Probably it’s just a blob, a mess, an ugly blot on your life. But is there another shape to see? Can you see the heart?

“…We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). He WILL bringing blessing in the pain. I firmly believe that EVERY pain can bring blessing – but sometimes only if we accept the gift. God can’t give us something we won’t take. If the pain blinds us then we will be blind to the blessing. We won’t be looking for it, and we certainly won’t be holding out our hands for it.

Look at the whole of Matthew 6:25-24, because no one can say it better than Jesus! I love this beautiful, poetic admonition:

“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?

And why do you worry about clothes? 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? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
~ Matthew 6:25-34 NIV

Jesus isn’t just talking about clothes and food here, dear hearts. He was not immune to – or from – pain and suffering. John 11: his beloved friend Lazarus dies; He comforts Lazarus’ sisters and then he prays. He weeps. Luke 7: a widow’s only son has died; Jesus’ “heart went out to her”, and then he gives her back her son. Mark 5: Jesus drives out a demon, and then heals the man (chained, crazy, screaming, inflicting self-harm); he raises a dead girl (the grieving parents, heartbroken, begging Jesus to heal her) and heals a sick woman (bleeding for 12 years, “unclean” in her Jewish culture, suffering, destitute). Luke 23: Jesus himself is beaten, crucified, and MURDERED. He goes to HELL – let’s not sugarcoat it! – and battles death itself. This is God in flesh, separated from God! I cannot imagine worse suffering.

In every one of these stories it’s the same. Something is bad, but then God worked good out of the bad. I am not suggesting that God makes bad things happen to us just to teach us a lesson, to bring us a blessing, or to use us to bless someone else. I do not believe God causes bad things to happen to us (I’m not talking about consequences of sin here – that’s a whole different topic). However, I do believe he uses bad things to teach us a lesson, bring us a blessing, or bless someone else. There’s a big difference.

You may be dealing with “little” worries of the everyday kind. Or maybe your worries are so giant that they leave you broken and unable to see around the torment. My friends, I do not tell you, Jesus tells you: “Do not worry”. He is your healer, because He is able to bear your burden and bring you joy. Let it go. Every day, again and again, little or big, let it go. Our God is the God of all good and perfect gifts. We just have to open our hands.