The Fourth Week of Lent – Letting Go of Fear and Holding on to God’s Peace
March 22, 2020
by Jill Duffield, Presbyterian Outlook editor
Do you worry? Doesn’t everyone worry? Many of us find ourselves ruminating over issues we cannot control, scenarios that may or may not happen, things that really don’t deserve the energy we’re investing in them. No matter that intellectually we know that our worry resolves nothing, helps not at all and distresses us, we find we cannot get our minds to stop running on that mental treadmill. This beautiful text poetically nudges us to let go of all that keeps us up at night and makes us anxious. Let’s be clear, however, there are those for whom worry about food and clothing and
shelter are present, real and pressing. There are also those for whom anxiety is an illness and should be treated as such. These words from Scripture should not be used to shame, dismiss or silence those already in pain. Rather, they should teach us that
God’s will for all is peace, provision and safety.
This Lent, as we seek to let go of fear and trust God’s ability and will to give us what we need, we are called to work in ways that make this promise tangible for everyone. If we go to bed fed and in a safe dwelling, without the need to worry about our next meal or place of slumber, how might we show those in radically different circumstances that they too can be relieved of these worries?
If God does not want us to worry about tomorrow, how can we alleviate today’s troubles for those overwhelmed by them? Doing so would be striving first for the
kingdom, every day.
Lord, we forget to seek your Kingdom first. We notice what we lack, rather than giving
thanks for all we have. We neglect the needs of those without t heir daily bread, despite having been fed on the bread of life. We ask for your wisdom so that we will focus rightly and live accordingly until no one has cause to worry. Amen.
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