Worry and Self-Image

I’ve been in International Mission board meetings this week, which, along with additional demands, have put me terribly behind in all my other work.  I woke up this morning fretting about it.  Every project is behind right now, and that’s a strain in itself. 

But thanksgiving helps.  Several years ago, I started a Thanksgiving List, inspired by the hymnist Frances Ridley Havergal, who kept a similar habit.  As I studied her life, I decided to adopt her idea. So in my prayer notebook, the first page is devoted to items for which I’m thankful.  Different ones each day.

Today it was the songs of birds.  Earlier in the morning, I’d listened to a great symphony of praise was coming from all the trees and bushes – everyone whistling, chirping, and singing.

Birds are the original tweets.

I hope I don’t get to busy to notice the songbirds, or too stressed to thank the Lord for them.  Here’s a segment my upcoming Sunday sermon on this vey subject:

Worry indicates that we have a defective self-image.  It’s a signal to us that we are underestimating how valuable we are to God.   Matthew 6:26 says:  “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”

I’ve been noticing this spring how many birds there are in my lawn and yard and trees.  We have starlings, of course, but I’ve seen redbirds, cardinals, doves, robins, and mockingbirds.  I read the other day that experts estimate that there are somewhere between 200 billion and 400 billion birds in the air.  And every one is an ordained minister, a preacher, praising the Lord in song, showing us how wonderfully God cares for His creation. 

On several occasions, Jesus told us to notice how God provides food for the birds of the air and to remember that we are more valuable than many birds.  Notice those words in Matthew 6:26:  Are you not much more valuable….  He is telling us:  You are valuable!  You are very valuable.  You are more valuable.  We are valuable to God, more valuable than anything else He has made. 

When we realize that we have a God who loves and values us—and that we are worth something to Him, everything to Him—than it reduces our anxiety.  If we’re that valuable to Him, we can rest assured He cares for us.