I know you’ve read this hundreds of times. But read it today, and listen to what our Lord tells you.
Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear…
“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.
“Why do you have so little faith?
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t be concerned about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Ah, Father, what are you saying to us? Can it be so simple? Yet it is so hard for us to believe this.
Jesus says to his disciples and to us, “Do not worry about your life. God will certainly provide for you because He cares so much about you.”
Can we believe him? It’s tough to answer that question honestly, isn’t it?
It raises all kinds of questions about how we live, what we should or should not do to provide for ourselves. At what point does relying on our own logic, practical sense, abilities, and planning become a lack of faith in the One who says He will supply all we need?
And what about those who are now suffering from lack of necessities needed for survival? What about those who have lost homes to this economy? What about those who have no job and have children to feed? How glib and church-y it sounds to say God will take care of them.
And yet… isn’t that exactly what Jesus said?
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Do not worry.”
Could I say that, could I write that, if it were I who had no job, who could not buy food, who did not have enough money to pay my bills this month, who suddenly found herself homeless?
“Do not worry. Your Father knows what you need.”
This is an ongoing search for me, trying to discover exactly what this teaching of Jesus means to my life, how it will affect my decisions, my attitudes. I believe obeying God in this trusting business results in different actions for different people. What He is telling me to quit worrying about may not be the same thing He is asking you to trust Him for. For each one of us, at the right times, the Spirit comes and reminds us, “You don’t have to worry. Your Father knows what you need. Pay attention to and seek the things that matter more and last longer than anything on this earth. Don’t worry about this thing.”
He knows what worry does to us. He knows how obsessed we can be about trying to control our lives. He knows the attitudes that, unfortunately, have been drilled into us and hinder total faith in His love.
I do not yet know the answers to all these questions, but I hear God’s word to His children, those He chose, those He has adopted as sons and daughters:
… how much more valuable you are than the birds! … do not worry … your Father knows that you need these things … seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well … Do not be afraid, little flock …
I hear great tenderness in Jesus’ words, “Do not be afraid, little flock.”
I also hear Him saying, “According to your faith will it be done to you. Why do you have such little faith?”
Scripture from Luke 12:22-32 (both NIV and NLT) and Matthew 9:29 (NIV)
Thanks to Marcus Moan for today’s photograph.