“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
(Matthew 5:25-27 NRSV)
NOTE: This article was originally posted on my “Weekly Word-Picture” Facebook post on October 7, 2019.
Food fight!! It looks like that’s what’s taking place in the attached picture. The birds are fighting over the birdseed that’s been provided for them as food to eat. Silly birds! Can’t they see and understand there’s no need to worry about, let alone fight over, the food provided for them, as there’s an ample supply – enough to feed them all?
Thank the Lord that we human beings are smarter than those birds and wise enough to know there’s no need to worry about, or fight over, such basic needs as food and water. Or are we?! One would think that we are, but history has shown time and again that we constantly worry about and fight over the necessities of life. In fact, throughout the ages, conflicts regularly have erupted, and wars have been waged over food and water availability.
I consider myself to be very blessed and thus haven’t had to worry about or fight over the basic necessities of life. However, I confess that I often do worry about and fight over (usually with myself) unnecessary things that I have no control over or that God assures me He has well in hand.
Are you a worrier like me? If so, then I encourage you to heed the words from Jesus in the above Scripture text. Simply put, Jesus is telling worriers like you and me to not worry, especially over the basics of life like what we eat, drink and wear because God faithfully and generously provides for all our needs. Jesus goes on to emphasize that if God is faithful in providing for the rest of His creation, including enough food for the birds to eat, then God certainly is faithful in providing for us.
I know, I know … still, we worry! Perhaps, then, Jesus’ question to us about worrying needlessly will help. “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” I know I haven’t! And, in fact, I’m certain that me worrying over and fighting with myself about needless things that I often have little or no control over has done more harm (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) than good.
Besides our personal health and wellbeing, however, there’s an even more important reason you and I need to stop worrying needlessly: it takes our thoughts off God and heavenly concerns that truly matter. God wants us to worry less about the needs of our physical body and worry more about the needs of our spiritual soul. God knows – and I have learned – that when we worry about and fight over earthly matters, we aren’t worrying about or defending godly concerns, which matter much more to God.
So. Let’s vow to attempt to worry less about our physical needs, which God is already taking care of any- way, and worry more about our spiritual lives, which – if you’re like I am – is always in need of more care and concern. Besides, remember that every time we worry about something that God assures will be provided for us, we are doubting God’s faithfulness and ability to accomplish what He promises. And it’s never good for our spiritual health and wellbeing to doubt God! Instead let’s choose to put our whole faith, hope and trust in God and His Word of assurance to us. Let’s recite and take to heart the old saying: “Don’t worry; be happy!”
Finally, we really must stop worrying about and fighting over having enough food to eat and water to drink, as God provides more than enough of both for every human being and living creature to live. Thus, any food and/or water shortage isn’t a supply problem on God’s part; it’s a stewardship and sharing problem on our part. If we all vowed to become good stewards and generous sharers of the resources God faithfully provides, world hunger and thirst would be eliminated forever. Just a thought.