“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus says, “for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Mathew 6:34).
An ancient Chinese story provides insight into what Jesus is teaching about worry.
A mountainous problem
Tan Chang had spent his seven decades eking out an existence on a small farm next to a towering mountain. The mountain kept his crops in almost constant shadow.
One day, in a blaze of inspiration, the solution came to him. He’d tear down the mountain to let the sun in. Day after day, he and his sons moved rock after rock.
His neighbors derided his plan. "You will never finish the job, old man! There are not enough days in the year for you to do this."
A rock by rock solution
But Tan’s response demonstrated commitment to his one rock at a time plan. "I am not as foolish as you think, my friends. I may be old and feeble, but after I am gone, my sons will continue to peck away at the mountain. Then their sons and their sons’ sons will do the same. Since the mountain cannot grow, someday it will be level with the ground, and the sun will shine upon our land."
Worry's solution fueled by grace
Jesus teaches us to take one day at a time, to move one rock at a time (“Don’t worry about tomorrow”). And in place of worrying about the mountainous challenges that tower over us, he urges we focus on the righteousness he has won for us. “Seek first [my Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
So chip away at today one rock at a time. Don’t worry about the mountain. Focus rather on God’s grace in Jesus. Whatever you need for today, tomorrow, and the future, that grace will provide.