“I tell you, do not worry about your life.”
The hustle of the holidays is over. We’ve made our New Year’s resolutions (and broken one or two already), and winter’s cold days have arrived. As I watched yesterday’s snow, I couldn’t help but smile. The birds at my feeders were having a wonderful time. Male and female cardinals, tufted titmice, snowbirds, a woodpecker or two, yellow and red finches, and even a dove shared the bounty.
In thinking about this, I was reminded of a Scripture from the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25). In the next verse, Jesus talks about the birds and how God provides for them. But he also asked the people a question: “Are you not much more valuable than [the birds].”
I must admit that I’ve done my share of worrying, especially as a widow. How is that bill be paid? Why did that have to break? When is that problem going to be solved? How long will this last? Why did that happen? Jesus tells me that worry is not profitable: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (v. 27). In the same chapter, Jesus talks about the flowers of the field (vs. 28-34). Since they are clothed more beautifully than Solomon, we shouldn’t worry about clothing.
With all the problems that widows face, how can we stop worrying? It’s certainly not easy. Sometimes it seems to me that the more I try to stop worrying, the more I worry.
Jesus gives us answers to help us stop our endless cycle of worry. He tells us that faith is important (v. 30). The writer of Hebrew describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certainly of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). When we lay a problem before the Lord in prayer, we must believe that God has heard us and that He is going to take care of it.
Jesus also told the people that day that God knows our needs (v. 32). With about 7.7 billion people in the world, it’s difficult for us to believe that God knows us personally and our needs are important to Him. But Jesus also said that even a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without the Father knowing (Matthew 10:29).
God’s knowledge is vast—more than we can fathom. He knows our needs and wants to supply them. Our Milky Way has at least 100 billion stars. The Psalmist David tells us that God has numbered and named the stars (Psalm 147:4). If He has done this, certainly He knows my needs and can provide them.
Jesus reminds us that we are to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (v. 33). What does this mean? Jesus was asking the people to focus on a relationship with God through prayer, worship, and reading of His Word. While food, clothing, and shelter are important, these things do not ultimately satisfy. Only our relationship with the Living God has eternal value.
God’s Word tells me that I can trust Him. He feeds the birds and gives beauty to the flowers, He can definitely meet all of my needs this coming year.