My main project today (Tuesday) was to write a Messenger article. I got some other minor tasks out of the way, and then my concentration was focused on coming up with an idea. My mind kept moving from one subject to another. I thought of Bible verses that popped into my consciousness, but nothing seemed to inspire me. When I caused my mind to browse over other areas of interest in my life, I kept bumping into problems. I sat staring at my desk for the better part of two hours, and I found myself becoming more and more agitated.

First I thought of the recent flood damage to the church. I’ve been dealing with the insurance company, the plumber and contacts for new flooring and, together with Chet Kelsey, thinking through how we’re going to get the work done. Meanwhile, I have tried to keep regular users of the church basement aware of what’s happening. All this has taken a lot of psychic energy.

At the same time, we’re in the process of selling the house we’ve lived in since 1972 and building a small unit on the property where our daughter and two grandchildren live. Needless to say, this is taking a great deal of our time and attention. This morning, every time I started to follow a promising path toward writing a Messenger article, an issue regarding our big move would crowd it out of my mind.

Some time during the late morning, I received a phone call from daughter Laura. After we discussed the matter she called about, I told her my sad story of frustration in trying to write the article. She said, “You worry too much. Don’t you believe what you preach about not worrying?”

Then the familiar verses came to me:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? (Matthew 6:25-29)

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

I believe healthy concern is natural and essential for living a purposeful life. But worrying describes our state of mind when concern turns to fretting and stewing. That’s when we need to calm ourselves with the soothing words of Jesus and the apostles.

Oh look, the Messenger article’s written.

— Pastor George Van Alstine