"Who of you by being anxious can add one unit of measure to (her) stature or to the span of (her) life. And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all His magnificence was not arrayed like one of these."
Matthew 6: 27-28, Amplified Bible
Have I asked Jesus to take my anxious thoughts away?
"Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come."
The Treasure Chest (1965)
"Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head."
The Neurotic's Notebook (1963)
Several years ago, when we moved into our current home, the girl who was guiding us with our landscaping suggested we plant daylilies around the yard. Up to this point in time, the only "lilies" I knew anything about were Calla lilies that filled our front yard when I was a kid. These big white trumpet-like flowers were pretty to look at from a distance, however, all I could remember was the rather obnoxious odor that came from them. And you know how kids are - if something stinks, whether it's food or flowers, it's not high on your list of favorites.
Sensing my hesitancy in wanting to plant lilies, our friend, a gardening expert, brought by some pictures of the lilies she wanted to plant. They were beautiful and so we agreed with her recommendation.
Today, I am enjoying the results of her labor as my yard is filled with blooming lilies - colorful yellow, peach, and orange lilies. It is a beautiful sight and for the last five years, as if on a schedule of their own, the lily plants produce this eruption of glorious color beginning in early summer.
I do very little to encourage this annual event. Yet even with the minimal attention I give, the lilies come out of the ground, seemingly more plentiful each succeeding year. Maybe this is why Jesus chose the beautiful, yet simple lily, to address the problem we have with the emotional trap called anxiety.
I found it interesting that the dictionary, in providing an accurate definition of this word, refers to anxiety as an "uneasiness about the future." Anxious thoughts put us into a state of continual turmoil as we wonder how the future will unfold and right now this emotional unrest we call anxiety seems to be harassing everyone I know. Yet I've found in my own life, many of the concerns I have had regarding what might happen have never actually materialized. This is why the Apostle Peter, who had walked with Jesus and understood from His own personal experience what it meant to have Jesus care for you, encourages us to "Cast all your cares on Jesus, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5: 7, K.J.V.). And this includes anxious thoughts about the future.
Several weeks ago I read a poem, written by an unknown author, that I believe reflects perfectly Peter's advice to us:
"‘Keep this for me.'
What child has not said this,
And placed a treasure in her mother's hand
With strict instructions that mom should keep it safe
Until she returns?
She knows that with mother the treasure will be safe;
No troubled thought or anxious fear besets her mind,
And off she runs lighthearted to her play.
If children can so trust, why cannot we,
And place our treasures, too, in God's safe hand;
Our hopes, ambitions, needs, and those we love,
Just see them, in His all-embracing care,
And say with joyous heart, ‘They are with Thee.'"
If your heart and mind are filled with fear about your future brought on by anxious thoughts that plague you day and night, then do what Jesus asked over 2,000 years ago. Look at the lilies and remember, He who cares for and clothes these gorgeous flowers - will do the same for you.
"The little cares that fretted me.
I lost them yesterday.
Among the fields above the sea.
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds;
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God."
Elizabeth Barrett browning
May No Clouds Hide Your Light
"Most loving Father,
preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties
and grant that no clouds of this mortal life
may hide from us the light
of that love which is immortal
and which you have manifested
unto us in Your Son."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.