Sometimes Wormwood crawls into my brain and begins to whisper obscenities and lies. "Do more," he says. "It's not enough and you'll probably fail. You need more money. You need more accomplishments. You need … you must … go and get."
How do I respond? In my weakness, I fuss and worry.
I like to think of myself as not much of a fusser. Truth is, in the quiet, my heart beats fast and I lay awake. Do you really have me, Lord?
Then Paul sneaks up beside me and says …
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Then, Jesus climbs next to me, agreeing with Paul …
Well said Paul, he says. Tim, Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.
Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all?
Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Paul concludes …
Tim, this is how we should live if we follow Jesus. So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides.
Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
God I need these words. I need to settle down. I need to relax in the peace of Christ.
 Philippians 4:6-7, The Message
 Luke 12: 22-32, The Message
 Colossians 3: 1-2, The Message
Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.