Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs
About 25 years ago, a song hit the radio air waves called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and it was written and sung by Bobby McFerrin. It was a catchy and popular song that encouraged the listener to not worry about the troubles of life and instead to remain happy. In his song, McFerrin described situations in which we might struggle financially, deal with unpopularity, or even be robbed by someone, but yet it always came back to the refrain: “Don’t worry, be happy.” Maybe you remember the song; I’m sure you do and I bet you’ll be humming it the rest of the day now! Bobby believed that worry was pointless and in fact it made matters worse. In one of his key lyrics, he said “In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry, you make it double.”
I don’t know Bobby McFerrin’s religious background, but much of his message is certainly biblical. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus talked to His disciples about the dangers of worry. He taught that worry is unproductive by saying “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?“ One of the points Jesus was trying to make was that we cause additional stress to ourselves by worrying about things. But Jesus also included something in His message that Mr. McFerrin left out. Jesus answers the question, how is it possible to not worry? Isn’t that what we all want to know? We may agree with Bobby or Jesus, but how do we put it into practice in our lives?
Jesus empowers us by letting us know that we don’t have to worry because God is watching over us and will take care of all our needs. He used a beautiful description of how things go for the birds of the air to convey this. Jesus says: “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?” The implication is that, yes, we are more valuable to Him than the birds and thus all the more He will take care of us. The added benefit to those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior is that not only does He take care of us in this life, but also into eternal life.
I encourage those who already know the Lord to reflect on His caring nature and entrust your worries to Him. And to those who don’t know The Lord, to realize that not only do you have someone to handle your worries in this life, but willing to handle them forevermore.
Bobby McFerrin listed only a few examples of the troubles of life and undoubtedly as you read this, you can list many more. But through it all, don’t worry, be happy, because God takes care of us.