Find a quiet place, put your earphones in, and pull out a pen and paper. Ensure you won’t be interrupted or distracted for the next few moments.
Recognize that the Lord is with you. Give thanks that he is near.
Hear the Lord’s invitation to turn your eyes upon him. To be transfixed by his glory in the midst of the chaos that swirls around you. To rest your soul in his loving gaze and receive his restful grace.
Pause and listen to this invitation as sung by Salt of the Sound.
Read the following passage slowly. Take a few deep breaths before beginning, and allow your body to be at ease. Let the words wash over you as you lean in to hear Jesus speak. If appropriate, read it out loud, or have someone read it to you.
Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Sit with the passage for a moment before moving on. Allow the Holy Spirit to draw your attention to words or phrases.
Here are a few reflection questions to ask yourself slowly. Don’t rush to the next question before truly pondering the first. Take the time to think on each question and perhaps even slow down enough to write the answers in a journal.
- Am I anxious?
- Can I name what I’m anxious about?
- How does my anxiety reveal itself?
- In my body?
- In my relationships?
- When Jesus tells me, “Do not be anxious,” do I experience this more as a comfort, conviction or a condemnation? Take some time to talk to Jesus about this.
- Take some time to consider the birds of the air, the flowers you like, or perhaps the trees outside your window. What do you notice about them?
- Consider how you have experienced God’s faithful provision in the past. Remind yourself of an instance where God met you in a place of need, and provided. Can you give thanks for that experience today?
- Consider your day today. Do you sense God’s invitation to join him in the things on your calendar for today? How can he help you prepare your heart to be present in those things he has for you today?
- Jesus tells us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. To seek him. Do you see him in your circumstances? If so, how? Ask for more of him. Or perhaps you are struggling to seek him, to see him? Can you identify why? Bring those things that are distracting, stealing, or blocking your energy to him.
- How are you experiencing his response?
Read the passage through one more time.
Pay attention to how it lands on you this time. Has something changed? Was something reinforced?
Listen to the song again, and ask for his strength to turn your eyes, and fix them on him; that all else might grow strangely dim.
Written by the Spiritual Care and Development Team.