He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
~ Luke 12:22-31
How many of us worry? Well, I do! Oh it's not about the obvious, it's about random things. When I see someone struggling to pay for a cup of coffee at the store, I worry if they have eaten. When I see a young person getting into a car with someone that I just saw cross two lanes of traffic without using a blinker, I worry about their safety. Yep, I guess that either makes me a classic worrier, or someone who needs to pay closer attention to my own self!
Either way, the writer of Luke wants us to consider what it means to NOT worry!
I love how he talks of the field, of flowers, and of birds. The things that we see each day, and for some of us, cause us to stop and to look.
Our ability to give thanks for what we do have, and that our basic needs are met by God each day, are the things that we should be aware of. The "I wants" in our lives often overwhelm the "I needs."
There have been many times when I have talked about wanting something, only to realize that I have exactly what I need. Isn't it amazing when after we have had an encounter where we have battled hard, or misplaced our priorities, hoping to gain something that the world tells us we must have, that afterwards we discover we have what we needed all along?
Luke is telling us to "stop worrying!"
The one thing that we often forget is that God knows what we need. Too often people confuse suffering, or poor circumstances with something God has failed to do. Instead, it is often our own doing, not doing, or living with the decisions others have made that cause many of the situations that God gets the blame for. Remember, just because we may feel that God is not responding quickly, or blessing us the way we feel we should be blessed, doesn't mean that God is not working!
The real joy of life comes not from what we surround ourselves with, it begins by recognizing that God is present and God knows what we need!
Today, consider the grass of the field, the flowers, and the birds of the air, and know that you are blessed as well!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, today as the dew drips from blades of grass. As birds sing in the trees surrounding my window, and flowers bloom on my patio, I want to consider this... You have provided for them and I will believe that today I have all that I will need. While I may not understand why it is that others may seem to be overwhelmed with blessings, I will try to focus more on my relationship with You. For that is the beginning of all I will ever need. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.