It goes without saying that this season has brought on for many of us a new set of worries:
How long will we be dealing with COVID-19? How long will these government restrictions last? What’s going to happen if I or someone I know gets sick? Will my parents be OK? How long am I going to be out of work? Will life ever return to “normal” again?
David Platt says Proverbs 12:25 depicts worry like extra weight you have to carry around: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down” (ESV).
Imagine you’re going through life with a backpack on, and into it goes everything you’re worried about. When you’re getting ready for college, you wonder if you’re going to get in the right school. *Boom, added weight.*
You worry you are stuck in a job you can’t stand. *Boom, added weight.*
You’re afraid you can’t avoid divorce, like your parents. *Boom, added weight.*
You wonder if you’re going to have enough money to retire. *Boom, added weight.*
And kids, of course, bring a whole new set of worries: whether or not they’ll do well in school if they hang out with the wrong crowd or date the wrong person. What if they need braces? Are you going to have enough money for that? If not, does that mean they’ll have crooked teeth for the rest of their lives? Maybe your kids will be jobless because of their messed-up teeth. Then they’ll live with you for the rest of your life.
*SO MANY added weights*
Each of those worries adds an additional weight to that pack you’re carrying around—some of them are 5-pound weights, others feel more like 100-pounders.
You already had this weighty backpack on. And then, on top of all that, comes a pandemic. You didn’t feel like you had any room in the pack. It was already too much. But now you have the added weight of uncertainty, loss, fear, and death.
But there’s more to Proverbs 12:25: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
The news doesn’t have a good word today. Your pastor may even be in short supply. But we can always find a good word from God in his Word.
You may not be strong enough to carry all your burdens, but Jesus is. Cast them onto him in prayer because he cares for you. He’s made many promises in the Bible about just how much he cares for you:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 CSB). God knew the world would weigh us down, and he made a way for relief through Jesus.
Peter, who knew Jesus well, tells us: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child of her womb? Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you. Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15–16 CSB). God cares for you and thinks about you more than a new mother thinks about her baby.
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” (Psalm 139:17–18 NLT). How much does God think about you? His thoughts about you number more than the grains of sand of the seashore, which is, for the record, 7,500,000,000,000,000,000. That’s pronounced “7.5 quintillions.” (Or, as my kids would say it, “7.5. bajillion.”)
I don’t know how to think about numbers that big. And yet, that is the number God chose to communicate how often he thinks about you.
And, what’s more, David said in Psalm 139, “Even when I made my bed in hell, you came after me.”
We are living in times when nearly everything we thought was certain is suddenly uncertain. But in the midst of that uncertainty, one thing remains: If you turn to God, you never have to wonder what he thinks of you or if he’s going to help you with your worries, big or small.
He loved you so much that even when you had wandered from him, rejected him, scorned him, and insulted him, he gave his life for you (Romans 5:8). Jesus rescued you when you were his enemy and solved your biggest problem, and, now that you are his child, he will not abandon you to take care of the rest on your own.
That’s how much he cares!