Last summer we strolled around the grandeur of San Souci- in Potsdam outside Berlin. San Souci was the summer palace of Frederick the Great (King of Prussia)It’s just a short carriage ride away from his New Palace where he could showcase his wealth & power to the world.
Sans Souci is a French phrase meaning without worries or concerns. King Frederick planned to reside here carefree -leaving worries behind.
If only it was as easy as that! You & I know that worries can cling to us & fester in our minds -whether at home or on holiday.
Wherever we are, worry can overwhelm us & strangle our growth – as Jesus said in the parable of the Sower:
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
(Mark 4:18-19 MSG)
Worry can unsettle & distress us. We can be tossed & turned by the storms of life. Jesus knows us so well & still loves us.
He gently asks,”You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26)
When we’re stressed by worries, we can forget that the Controller of the cosmos is so close. With just a word He calmed the chaos:
“Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
The One who quietened the waves can quiet us:
‘He will quiet you with His love’
‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’
(Isaiah 26:3 NIV)
We can breathe deeply & declare:
‘You are with me’
Trusting in Him, we can live sans souci:
‘Don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it,
a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens
when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.’
(Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)
In contrast to the smothered seed, we can be nourished & flourished:
‘But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.’
(Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT)
‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.’
(1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
‘Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.’ (1Peter 5:7 MSG)