Now certainly I will acknowledge we are all human and we will never be perfectly immune to anxiety. But what would your life be like with almost no worry? Imagine with me for a moment your life, day to day, amidst the details of work and relationships, but free of anxiety and stress. Can you picture what it would look like to respond with faith to unpleasant, even scary surprises, rather than react in fear?
Respond in faith, not react in fear.
But you might protest: “Oh, this might be nice to think about, and it might be easy for you to write about, Peter, the super Apostle. But come on, this is simply not realistic.”
Might I suggest you tell that to Jesus, please, not to me? He seemed to think it is completely realistic.
One night on the Sea of Galilee, we were caught in a life-threatening storm. Jesus was asleep – asleep! We were all scared, but I was also frustrated with Jesus. How could he sleep through such a violent storm? So I woke him up, shouting, “Master, don’t you care if we drown?” He looked at me, puzzled, and asked, “Why are you so afraid, oh you of such little trust?” He then spoke and the storm immediately calmed down.
At that he looked straight at me and said, “Peter, the rock. Do you still have no faith?”
Boy that stung.
And yet another time he said, “Are not two sparrows sold for an assarian? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Not one sparrow? Even the very hairs on your head? Now that’s in the details, wouldn’t you agree?
Perhaps we should all decide, here and now, either Jesus knew what he was talking about, or he didn’t. Can we trust him, fully, and in the details of our lives, or is he really best suited just for foxholes and funerals?
He is either relevant to your life – in the details of your life – or he is not. If you think he is not, then tell him you just don’t trust him; tell him you think he’s out of touch with your real world, and then try something else. (But I imagine you already have tried plenty other ways.)
Jesus would be the first to advise you to try something else, if there was anything else.
I am reminded of the words of our great leader Joshua.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”