25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I thought of my friend Katy as I read through these verses this morning. Katy is a college student and has been working through college to pay for her education. She is dependent on herself and no one else. Back up. It would appear that she is dependent on herself, but her hope for her future and for funds comes from a deep trust in God. It’s not always easy to trust, though. Jesus even says at the end of the above passage that each day has “trouble”. Katy struggles to know if she will be able to pay the bills, what she will do when she graduates soon, whether she can pay her school loans….
This very-familiar passage above intrigues me. As I put the words of Scripture into my own words on paper, I asked Jesus, the one who said these things, “What do you mean by this? You say ‘do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.’ Those are kind of essential things. We need to eat. We need to drink water. We need to cover up. Can’t get much more basic than that. Seems like people should be concerned with those kinds of things…” Jesus points out that He feeds the birds and “clothes” the flowers beautifully. He says, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” So, Lord, we are valuable to You. This I believe deeply. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and You “knit us together”. We have value because of the value You placed on us. Not because of anything we did or hope to do. But here I go, off into a side subject. Back to worry. I don’t believe Jesus’ point is “who cares about whether you eat or drink or wear clothes or pay your bills or get a good job…” His main point seems to be right at the end of this passage in verse 33. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Jesus understands. He not only made us, so He knows what our thoughts and emotions are regarding the stresses of life, but He also experienced them while here on earth. If you jump ahead to Matthew 8:20 you see that He didn’t even have a bed to call His own.
Katy works hard to provide for herself and to get an education. Money is tight, but her eyes are focused where they should be, on Jehovah-Jireh. That’s Hebrew for “God our Provider”. That’s why she asks me to pray for her needs.
Some of you may be thinking, “Americans are the richest people in the world! What do they have to worry about?” Well, it’s our tendency as humans from any walk of life to worry when things don’t look so promising. Even when things DO look promising, we can gravitate toward worry. But I’ve seen Africans with virtually nothing lean into God’s loving arms of providence for their daily bread. They are seeking Him first. He provides. I’ve witnessed wealthy people who are completely bankrupt emotionally and spiritually because they chose to seek wealth first, instead of God. We all need to remember that it could all be gone instantly. None of it is worth holding in a tight fist.
I encourage those of us who know God to make our relationship with Him priority over our stuff and even over our needs. “All these things will be added to you.” And how about we all make ourselves available to be used of God to help others who need food, water, shelter? Being used of God is a blessing and a joy. Ask Him what you should do to help. He’ll show you.
Love you, Katy! I’m proud of you. ❤
– Susie Stewart