And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies 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 cloth you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Mat.6:28-31
It was the summer of 1967 when I was sitting in a classroom with other students who were aspiring to be teachers. The lecturers were preparing us for the task of imparting knowledge, skills, values and attitudes into the students who would come under our tutelage. Surprisingly, the first philosopher and educator they exposed us to, was Jesus of Nazareth. I will always remember how our tutors pointed to a particular teaching method that Jesus frequently used, that is, he regularly took his listeners from the known to the unknown. That principle remains a pillar on which effective instruction stands to this day.
Don’t Worry – Trust God
When Jesus wanted to teach his followers that they could trust the heavenly Father to take care of them, he drew their attention to two familiar scenes in nature. He talked about the birds and the wildflowers. Jesus reminded his audience about specific facts concerning flowers and birds, and then he brought them to appreciate how much God cares for us.
Jesus knew that all of us have the proclivity to let circumstances keep us up at night and prevent us from giving our full attention to the critical areas of our lives. From the mountain where he sat and addressed his disciples, he said, “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life,…” Mat.6:25. He tells us not to worry about what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear. You may say that is fine for someone to say not to worry, but the reality is that I lost my job and all my savings are gone. What will I do? Jesus gave us the answer. The things that we can see point us to the things that we cannot see.
Birds Are in God’s Care
Jesus’ appeal to us is to consider the birds. Birds do not have jobs, but they are alive and well. They are some of the prettiest creatures in nature that God has given for our enjoyment and the preservation of the ecosystem of the earth. God in his great providence takes care of them. Furthermore, Jesus said that God is aware of every sparrow that dies and we are worth more than sparrows. Jesus brings us to the obvious conclusion that if God so cares for the sparrows he would care much more for us.
Beautiful Flora is From God
Then Jesus gave another illustration from nature, the flowers of the field. Here in my own country, I like to travel a particular country road to see the wildflowers in bloom. It resembles a sea of all colours. I have observed cacti in bloom in the state of Arizona. It is the desert blossoming like a rose. Jesus said that even Solomon, the wealthiest man of the Old Testament could not match the beauty of these flowers though he had the money to dress extremely gorgeous. Finally, Jesus drove home the vital lesson he wanted us to understand. If God so adorns the flowers that appear in the morning and disappear by the evening, how much more will he do for us his children?
We are In God’s Care
Just yesterday, I attended the funeral of a dear sister. As I approached her widower, a friend and brother for nearly fifty years, we hugged, and I offered him my condolences and wished him God’s comfort and peace. His positive response to me was, “Yes, God will comfort and strengthen me.” That took me back to exactly eleven years ago when I faced a similar challenge. I was burying my wife of 36 years. Has God comforted and strengthened me? Yes, and even more. He has been my shepherd, my guide, my constant friend, my provider. He promises that he will never leave us or abandon us.
Our heavenly Father keeps his word. His words of comfort and encouragement to us are, “Do not worry; I will take good care of you; I always take excellent care of my children.”