You can see it everywhere. In the southern United States this invasive plant envelopes trees, forests and structures. It has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually and has devastating environmental consequences. What is this plant that has been nicknamed, “The vine that ate the South“? Kudzu
Kudzu chokes out the beauty of the trees it covers until the trees are unrecognizable. You actually can’t see the trees for the kudzu. It is like a monster that keeps growing.
We have another monster growing in our country as well. The rate of growth has exceeded all expectations. People are being choked out and covered by it. It goes by several names –fear, panic, and pessimism. You can’t even recognize the person when they are covered in it – worry.
Worry from the troubles of life – unemployment, natural disasters, healthcare, bankruptcy, foreclosures, fires, and killings. It seems like the worries of life have sucked the wind out of people’s sails, taken away laughter and consumed so many, just like kudzu.
Yes, this world is full of troubles. Awful terrible troubles. We were told these things would happen. Jesus told his followers, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Yet, Jesus comforted his followers by promising His peace to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Peace overcomes worry as we abide with Jesus and His words. It may mean clinging to His words every second of each day to dispel the growing vines of worry. Think about these words:
“Jesus said, ‘… I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing… Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?.. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” Luke 12:22-31
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
We can enjoy His peace right now. Take a deep breath and shake off the growing vine of worry. It is freeing. There is a loving God who cares. His peace will guard my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus. Are you ready to shake off the monstrous vine of worry?