Consider the Lilies

“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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.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? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:25-32

There are very few passages in the Bible that are more comforting to me than Matthew 6:25-32. This is right in the middle of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, a teaching where thousands of people came to hear from him. I can picture him standing there, looking out over the crowd, seeing all types of people, rich and poor, and feeling compassion rise up deep in his heart. They are so worried, he thinks, so many troubles steal their peace and joy. And looking around at all of the people, Jesus gives them a picture to remind them of this truth: God sees them and cares for them.

He talks of birds and flowers, these small, ordinary, temporary things. In another passage, Jesus uses the similar image of birds, but specifically speaks of sparrows. Do you know the average lifespan of a sparrow? Three to five years. The average lifespan of a wildflower? Two months for blooms, and one year of total life.

And yet God cares so deeply for these things! They are so temporary and God clothes them, feeds them, and reminds us, Little one, you are of much more value to me than sparrows and flowers.

No matter the abundance or scarcity of your life, the truth is that we easily get overwhelmed with these daily worries: What to wear? What to eat? Do I have enough? Too much? The right things? What if, What if, What if…?

God is leaving little love notes all around our lives. The next time you find yourself worrying about food, money, clothing, or anything like that, go take five minutes outside. See if you can find a flower growing or a bird soaring up ahead. Take a breath. Let your heart settle into this truth: God loves you immensely. He sees the worries of your heart and has compassion on you. You can trust him no matter your circumstance, and believe he is taking care of you.

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