Do not be ruled by worry, but trust in God.
In order to put an end to the unlawful scare tactics and intimidation used to keep blacks from voting in the city of Selma, Martin Luther King Jr. organizes a peaceful protest on the steps of the Selma courthouse to draw the attention of the rest of the nation. After Selma's bullying sheriff breaks up the protest, he jails King and his friends. King sits in prison with his friend and co-conspirator Ralphy. They discuss how many of the leaders of the civil rights movement have been struck down, some murdered in their own homes. They discuss how their followers then scatter, and their progress is lost. If that is how it continues to happen, what progress can they possibly be making on the whole?
Worry, Fear, Trust, Obedience, Encouragement
Martin Luther King Jr. lets out a long dejected sigh. “What are we doing, Ralphy?” he asks. “We take it piece by piece,” Ralphy tells King. “Like we been doing. We build the path as we can, rock by rock.” King sits for a moment, silent. He thinks, then turns back to Ralphy, “This cell is probably bugged.” “It probably is,” Ralphy concurs. The two men let out a chuckle, breaking the hopeless silence of the cell. King's gaze drops once more. “They're going to ruin me so they can ruin this movement... they are...” Ralphy leans closer to King. “Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow nor reap nor gather to barns, and yet your heavenly father doth feed them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” “Matthew 6, verse 27,” King replies. King thinks for a moment, and then agrees, “Yes, sir...”
Who of us does not have worries and stress in our life? School, work, kids, church, bills. We all have pressures of life weighing us down. Despite what the Bible says, we are all tempted to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Now, who of us have situations in life that even compare with the pressures that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dealt with on a regular basis? He had pressure from the government, was watched by the FBI, was threatened by race radicals, and had the challenge of standing up for his people in a bigoted caucasian dominated society. King had more reason than most to worry, but when things seemed at their lowest, and King was on the verge of despair, Ralphy reminded him of Matthew 6:27. Ralphy reminds King that God is in control, and we need not worry. If we are following God, then we need not be afraid. The Bible commands us to trust in the Lord and the power of his might (Psalm 105:4-5). To worry and fret is not just to decide not to take one of God's suggestions, it is choice we make not to trust God. For us to worry is for us to tell God that he is not in control, and he does not know what's best for us. We are to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), but this does not mean that life will always go the way we want it to. Just like Dr. King, Paul ended up in prison time and again while following God and trusting him, but the impact he made on the world was profound. In the same way, Dr. King was murdered for what he believed in, but he changed America forever. Trusting God is a command. What happens when we surrender our own way and trust in God? Everyone's story is different, but God's ability to use a surrendered heart, not burdened by worry, can change the world.