“It’s not time to worry yet.”
– Atticus Finch
I read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird this year for the first time in my life. I’ll confess that I didn’t really know what to expect when I started the book, and I had my doubts as to whether I’d really enjoy the work. By the last page, however, I’d marked Lee’s novel as one of the most enjoyable reads of my life so far.
Though brilliant in its own right, the novel particularly impacted me because of its relevance to our present time. This summer has contained some horrifying events that have shaken the nation in deep ways, and the issue of racism has remained at the forefront of our thoughts, leading us to pray for healing and peace to the God who shows no partiality (Romans 2:11; Colossians 3:11). As I followed Scout’s reactions to the race issues that impacted her country town, I often thought about our nation. Just like in Lee’s classic novel, things seem to progress from bad to worse and then to worse still, and the truth and love that are so desperately needed in these situations are often apparently absent. In such times, the future can look quite bleak. Yet no matter how dark the situation became in Lee’s story, Atticus Finch comforted his children with the same response: “It’s not time to worry yet.” And unless I’m mistaken, the time for worry never arrived.
As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure, he spoke of the coming hardships they would surely face as his followers. Persecution was imminent. Jesus, who always had a response to opposition, was about to leave to return to the Father. For the disciples, the future looked quite bleak. Yet in the midst of their fear and confusion, Jesus spoke these words:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
One simple truth outweighed a world of anxiety: Jesus has overcome the world. Nothing facing the disciples was beyond the scope of God’s sovereignty. Therefore, they had nothing to fear in their obedience to Christ and nothing about which they needed to worry. If God was for them, who could stand against them (Romans 8:31)?
As in Harper Lee’s book, there are times when darkness seems victorious over the light, periods where hopelessness seems to overcome hope. The world that seems so safe through eyes of innocence can become a terrifying place to live when the reality of sin strikes home. But let us who know Christ remember the wise words of Atticus Finch. Let us not become people of worry, fearful of what we cannot control. Let us rather trust the God who is in complete control. Let us remember that Jesus has overcome the world and all the evil it contains. And let us trust this promise that secures the believer’s security in Christ. Jesus is victorious over sin. In him, it’s never time to worry.