During this time of transition for our family, we've visited a number of churches in our area. But recently, we've made the decision to commute to a church we've grown to love over the years. And a couple of Sundays ago, the sermon was confirmation that we've made the right decision, at least for as long as the Lord allows.
The pastor, John, preached about worry. And I was so thankful that, right at the onset, he made clear that he was preaching to himself, as he had dealt with the weight of worry earlier that week. And, of course, I know that he is preaching through the Gospel of Matthew and, specifically, the Sermon on the Mount, so Matthew 6:25-30 was the next passage to be covered. Otherwise, I might have suspected he's been reading my mail (or my mind)!
After the sermon, a very kind family invited us to join them for lunch. We talked about the sermon a bit, and Roger asked Jeff and I which of us were prone to worry more. It was funny: I thought I did, but Jeff felt he did. I think we both worry, but in different ways -- and maybe about different things. As the head of our household, Jeff feels the weight of that leadership heavily; his temptation to worry tends towards breadwinning, leadership, family unity. I think I'm tempted to worry about the details, since many of those things fall to me day by day. Either way, worry is a sin. I knew this, but John's message was such a good reminder... especially because it offered not just admonition, but the antidote.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. 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 which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:25-30 ESV)God is so kind to provide us illustrations in our everyday lives to point us to Him and His will. "Look at the birds of the air..." I've always loved looking at the birds, admiring their unique beauty, their gracefulness, even their busyness and seeming joy.
"...they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns..." That's true, unlike the squirrels who steal food from the feeders to store for the future, the birds immediately eat what they gather.
"...and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Wow. Direct hit between the eyes. God cares for me, for me and my family, far more than he cares for the birds. He will provide for my needs, for the needs of my family, for the need of the day.
Should I really want for more?
Note: Don't you just love the photo in this post? This sweet vermillion flycatcher, poised on barbed wire, was photographed by a friend from high school, Muriel Gordon Neddermeyer. You can see more of Muriel's beautiful bird photographer on her Flickr page.
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