Have you seen the movie Bridge of Spies? I absolutely loved that movie and, though this isn’t an important part of the movie whatsoever, I think that there is one line repeated 8 times throughout the movie that just blew my mind. If you saw the movie you will definitely understand most of the context, but in the movie there is one character who is a captured Russian spy and he is being returned to Russia in exchange for several captured American citizens during the cold war. Many of the situations that he and the character played by Tom Hanks go through are not only stressful and dangerous, but many of them seem to come with the promise of death and persecution. Several times in the movie this Russian spy is asked, “Aren’t you worried?!” Or “You don’t seem alarmed?!” And the spy calmly and quite amusingly responds by saying “Would it help?”
I think this question of “Would it help?” reveals the silly-ness of our tendency to worry. I believe this character is saying “What good does worry do?” This is a great question and I think it is a question that Christians should be asking and I believe that Jesus asks the same question in the bible.
Jesus speaks directly to the issue of worry in a part of his sermon on the mount in Matthew 6.
“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 clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Again, verse 27 says “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Jesus is essentially asking “Would it help?” “does worry actually do any good?” Jesus seems to claim that no, worry does absolutely nothing to help. Rather, worry only presses us on to further stress and adds to the difficulty we may face. He is saying that God takes care of all creation, but above all, God cares most about human beings, You and Me. It is because of this immense love for us that God provides for you and I and wants for us to trust him with our worries. But how? How do we trust God and what does this look like?
In moments when we are pushed to worry and stressed about what is in front of us Jesus encourages us to pray. In fact, only 20 verses before this Jesus gives us an example prayer to God. The rough outline goes something like this.
God you are a good and perfect father.
I want to worship you for all my life
And for your way and plans to happen here on earth.
Today I trust you with my needs,
And I trust you with my life.
Please forgive me of what I have done wrong,
And help me to forgive others for what they have done wrong to me.
Help me to love you And follow you well,
Jesus knows that we struggle to trust God and that we face worry because there are many times in our life where we lack control over the outcome. This prayer reminds us that especially in these moments where we lack control, we worship God most by letting go of our worries and placing our trust in him. This is not easy and in fact can be really difficult at times, but in the end it opens my ears to hear God say, “don’t worry about it, Ill take care of that.”
Worry does nothing to fix the situation at hand and in many cases only makes it worse. Worry overtakes and weasels its way in to all of the parts of your life. But placing trust in God and letting go of some of your worries frees you to worship God.
- Nolan Henslick