Begin by reading these scriptures: Mark 4:35-41 Matthew 6:25-34
In both of these gospel passages, Jesus deals directly with two factors all too familiar in most of our lives – fear and worry. These are things Jesus addressed a number of times during his ministry and he approached them in different ways. I think the reason he talked about them repeatedly is because they are inhibitors. They inhibit or interfere with our ability to recognize and celebrate the scope of God’s generosity. Operating in fear of what tomorrow may bring, worrying about the problems and the trials that life may deal us robs us of seeing and appreciating how high and how wide and how deep is God’s love and how abundant he wants our lives to be.
Fear and worry cause us to concentrate on the problems ahead rather than rejoicing at the blessings already at hand. Certainly scripture holds countless examples of how extravagantly generous God was, has been and is to his people. Jesus himself definitely knew generosity first hand. Instead of remaining safely among the riches of heaven, he laid aside his kingship to become the human son of a very human carpenter in a Jewish trading village of little repute. And at the end of his life on earth, he suffered physical punishment even to death to provide us with the possibility of eternal life.
Why not take stock today of how God has been generous in your life. Can you count the ways? Do fear and worry keep you from being thankful? Do they interfere with the joy God wants you to have? Do they inhibit you from following God’s example of extravagant generosity?
During this time of year we remember the words heard by Mary and by the shepherds in the field – “Fear not.”