This guest post is from Matt Chicoine. The original post can be seen by clicking this link. When reading the Bible, it is important to find passages that really speak to you. May this post inspire you to find your Bible verse. Enjoy.
Throughout the Bible the phrase “Do not be afraid” is invoked over 300 times. In fact, the first mention of fear in the Bible is in reference to Adam and Eve hiding for fear because they disobeyed God for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Fear, worry, and anxiety are feelings that are at the center of the human condition. The reality of sin—otherwise known as the separation from God—is the number one cause for humanity to fear and worry. As a broken and fallen man, I struggle with worry constantly both in large and trivial matters. Changes at my workplace lead to anxiety on my part, and past suffering such as the loss of my unborn child are a couple of the various things I worry about. Even this morning, I got anxious about what topic I should write about today.
Oddly, almost immediately after my worrisome thoughts for lacking a subject to write about, my eyes noticed a Bible verse I have posted on my cubicle wall. Matthew 6:25-34. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit granted me the gift of knowledge and understanding and shed light on my situation. I thought, “Matt why don’t you write about the subject of worry and God’s answer?!” Here I provide four reasons why Matthew 6:25-34 is the most important Bible passage for me personally.
- My personal anxiety:
For most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and stress. It got so bad in High School, that I went to see a counselor for a couple of years. I got it under control better in college, but a couple years ago anxiety struck again. After losing my job, suffering a miscarriage, and the stresses of adjustment to a new house and city, anxiety attacked me.
I have since been on the road to recovery in large part due to the sacrament of marriage [my wife’s patience is awesome!] and a discipleship group at church has helped as well. A few weeks ago, I printed off Matthew 6:25-34 and posted on my cubicle wall to remind me that God is in charge. Jesus remind me, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:25-27).”
2. My Children:
When I lost my job, I seriously began to doubt the providence of God and I worried about the very thing Jesus tells us not to worry about, specifically, feeding my children. But God provided me with a job that was less stressful than my previous job and allowed options for me to take time off in case my children got sick. Why was I anxious about food and paying the bills? Failure to trust and fear caused by sin. Once again the sacramental graces God poured out to me through my marriage helped me out!
3. Timeless Message:
Several passages in the Bible sound anachronistic—out of place and outdated. Not so for Matthew 6:24-35. Jesus’ words relayed by the evangelist contained a message that will never age! Finding adequate shelter, food, and clothing will always be relevant for the human race despite the leaps and bounds we have made technologically. That is the genius of the Gospel, its stays relevant across centuries and centuries!
4. Birds of a Feather:
Living in the Midwest of the United States, I see tons of birds in my yard and throughout the city: robins, crows, and sparrows. Some Bible versions translate birds as sparrows. Whether this is the most literal translation is debatable; however, I associate with this passage even more when the word “sparrows” is used. Jesus says, “Look at the birds [sparrows] in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:26-27).” I noticed animals around my neighborhood on a daily basis and they eat on a daily basis. God loves humans immensely more. Do not worry!
Each spring a sparrow tries to build its nest in our garage. Jesus’ words always come to mind when I notice twigs and straw hanging from the rafters left by my aviary associate. “Look at the birds [sparrows] in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” Yes…He does provide.
About Matt Chicoine:
He is a young family man and a faithful Catholic with an enthusiasm for writing and learning. He hopes to use his writing as a means of growing in holiness and bringing others to Christ. The subjects will vary but he tends to stay close to his three passions: prayer, recreation, and organization. To check out his blog, check on this link.