Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1
I had some older friends decades ago who told me about a trip west perhaps in the 50’s. They were driving across the Great Plains on a two-lane road with nothing but sand around them. This was before our modern interstates and infrastructure. It was disorienting, because there were no phone poles or anything else that you could judge your speed by as you passed them.
At one point they saw an odd cloud in the distance. As they closed on it, they started to realize it was some sort of dust cloud. As they came upon the scene, they realized that there was a very old car hung up on a sand dune that had drifted across the road. Its rear wheels were spinning without enough contact to get traction and could only stir up the dust. They pulled up next to it to see if they could assist.
The elderly man in the driver’s seat had a death grip on the steering wheel and was hunched over in concentration. He noticed them and gave them a quick wave before returning to his “driving.” With no frames of reference around, he had no idea he was standing still! All he knew was he had his foot on the accelerator, and the dust of his “passage” surrounded him.
They couldn’t help laughing at the look of shock on his face when they exited their car and walked over to him! All humor aside, what might have become of that gentleman if no one had come across him?
We all are hung up on things. They keep us from making any real progress in our lives. Sometimes the dust, the mental noise from them blinds us to what is really happening around and to us! This is true of earthly matters, but it is also true of spiritual, eternal matters!
Worry is a big hang up that generates enormous amounts of “dust.” The last part of Matthew 6 is Jesus explaining this to His disciples.
“Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34
Worry can blind us to solutions to problems. Worse, it can blind us to God’s love and providence!
I was just listening to a podcast that dealt with a man’s struggle against spirits of oppression. He was under attack one night, and demons had him pinned to the floor. He struggled to more, even talk to rebuke them in Jesus’ name, but he could not. He realized the battle was not his, and he stopped resisting them. Instead, he prayed to Jesus to deliver him. A golden glow started spreading in the room, and the demons fled.
I could argue that he was initially worrying about how to get out of this attack, how he could respond and solve this dilemma. It was when he stopped worrying and gave it all over to God that things got better.
He still has instances of demonic forces trying to derail his ministry. God’s deliverance does not mean he will be free from troubles. God’s deliverance does mean that we can count on Him to get us through our next trouble! He will either remove it or He will give us the strength to endure it, but it is His providence we can count on.
When you think about how little we can control in our lives, you know this is true. You can understand how important it is to not worry and have faith in God.
All the Old Testament prophets are who I call The Prophets of Babylon. They either forewarned the Jewish nation of their impending doom, issued God’s prophecies to get them through their Babylonian exile, or to guide them through their rebuilding when they returned to Judah.
They foretold how God would eventually heal their earthly wounds. They also delivered His promise of eternal victory at the end of time. Those same prophecies hold true for us. God cares for us in our earthly needs, and He promises victory with Him in eternity.
Whatever you might be hung up on, look to God’s promises and teachings to get off it! It might be worry. It might be questions about Biblical teachings and one church’s viewpoint vs. another. With prayer, faith, and open-minded study of God’s words with others of faith, we can rely on God to point us past our hang-ups…whatever they might be!