“ Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought of the things for itself.” Matthew 6:34 (KJV)
Recently I was having one of those sleepless nights that everyone can identify with, when I was obsessing about some challenges I was facing in the week ahead. Thankfully it is an infrequent occurrence. But no matter how hard I tried or fervently I prayed I could not lay my nagging concerns to rest so I could finally get some rest. I was so frustrated that I was even resenting the moonlight shining through my bedroom window, viewing it as a source of irritation and contributing factor to my insomnia.
But then as a passing cloud shaded the full moon’s light I caught a glimpse of the starry sky. I really cannot explain it, but at that moment, resonating out of the vastness of the universe and the knowledge that the one who created it also created and cared for me, were the words “take no thought for tomorrow.” It was not something dramatic like an audible voice or startling revelation or some angelic appearance or intervention. It was more like the sense and satisfaction a person has when they solve a math problem or discover an important fact they have been looking for. It just settles things and arms a person with the truth that allows them to move on.
When that phrase ‘take no thought for tomorrow” came to me it was like, “Oh yeah, I can do that. If the creator of the universe is telling me to take no thought, then why waste time taking thought.” And right then and there I decided to stop thinking and worrying about the morrow, laid all my anxious thoughts aside and within minutes was asleep. I am happy to report that I woke up the next morning with a peace ruling in my heart and the rest of the week was smooth and anxiety free.
How does that work? Why did I struggle so in prayer and yet was unable to get the upper hand with my anxiety until those words came to me? Why did those five simple words have such power? I think the answer is threefold. First, the words are lifted directly from the Bible, spoken by Jesus and therefore are the logos words of God that carry the power of being both a command and a promise. Secondly, these logos words were taken by the Holy Spirit, applied to a specific situation and became living and active rhema words of God for the here and now. Thirdly, I was a hungry and thirsty soul crying out for a rhema word to set me free.
The Bible seems to work best and release faith most powerfully when we take it literally. When Jesus says “take no thought for tomorrow” He means just that. Don’t allow any thoughts about tomorrow to preoccupy your today. Leave tomorrow to Him. Just focus on today.
The Greek word from which “take thought” is translated literally means to be “distracted” or “divided.” That is what mixing concerns about today and tomorrow does to us. It divides us. The Greek word paints a picture of someone being drawn in opposite directions to the point of being pulled apart or going to pieces. Jesus admonition to “take no thought” is meant to save us from such resultant anxiety and destruction in our lives.
Ultimately, we can only obey Jesus’ command to take no thought, if we trust Him to be the one to take thought for us. Since He created us, we can be assured He is involved in the details of keeping us running smoothly. I think that is what brought such peace to my heart in the midst of my sleepless night. If He can manage the stars, it is nothing for Him to manage our earthly concerns.
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