An anonymous woman phoned the Krakow Animal Welfare Society with concerns about an unidentified, menacing object or animal in a tree near her home. When asked if it was a bird, she suggested that it might be an iguana, but she wasn’t sure. The “tree beast” –whatever it was–had been in place for two days, and some of her neighbors were afraid to open their windows out of fear of what it might do.
When animal welfare personnel arrived on the scene, they were prepared for the possibility of a previously-abandoned domesticated animal, or even a wild beast that had wandered in from elsewhere. What they found, however, was a croissant. Apparently, the flaky French pastry had been lodged into the tree branch so high up that neighbors were unable to identify it from a distance.
How the croissant got up in the tree, no one knows. Perhaps someone threw it up there for the birds and it lodged in the tree instead. But the fear of the unknown in circumstances can make us a prisoner. A Swedish proverb says, “Worry often gives small things a big shadow.” Or as John Lubbock said, “A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” I’m all too familiar with that!
We worry about a lot of things. Do we have enough money? Will our children be OK? Many of us worry about our relationships or our careers. Statistics show that only 8% of the things we worry about are a genuine cause for concern. But we worry anyway.
In Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God, Francis Chan writes “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.”
A couple of years ago, the Bible app, YouVerse, said that the most popular verse that was read, saved and shared was Philippians 4:6. The Living Translations reads this way, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
What a great word we need today! Like children, we can talk to God about anything and everything that concerns us, large things and small things, important things and unimportant things, smart things and dumb things, “beasts” in trees or rough times in our lives. Just tell Jesus!
Don Miller was a pastor who started three churches in New York City before his health caused him to return to Texas, where I met him, and he taught me much about prayer. When he passed away, they put on his tombstone something he used to say often. “Talk less. Pray more.”
I can’t think of anything we need to hear more today. Worry less. Pray more.