Some of the goals we all have are to seize the day, live in the moment, and to not let worries keep us from living joy-filled lives. But worries seem to plague most of our waking moments.
Jesus understood that worry about the things of life could undo a disciple’s career. So Jesus 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. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes’ ” (Luke 12:22, 23).
Those who chose to be on the road with Jesus necessarily lived on the edge in respect to their food and clothing. If a disciple worried about breakfast, and then when breakfast was provided, thought, Whew! That’s over. Now where will lunch come from? that disciple would soon become neutralized and spiritually ineffective.
There is a broad application of this truth to today’s culture, because modern culture is neurotic about food, drink, and clothing. TV ads feed our neuroses with alluring images of skinny people downing chips and burgers and sodas. Every product imaginable for the body is promoted—how to tan it, slim it, pamper it, clothe it, drug it, and stimulate it.
Today’s marketing seems to be addressing worries we didn’t even know we had. But Jesus commands us not to worry about life. Life is more than a good meal and a new outfit. And it is certainly more than worrying about these things.
But it feels almost impossible to not worry. Doesn’t it? Perhaps that’s why Jesus didn’t stop with these two illustrations. He continues by saying, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (vs. 24-26).
The ravens and their little brothers the crows were and are everywhere, in every nation of the world. They are in fact scavengers and in biblical times were considered unclean. These insolent, squawking birds know nothing of the prudent habits of a farmer, and yet God feeds them. This does not mean that Jesus’ followers are not to work, for in other places the Scriptures speak of other animals as examples of hard work. Jesus was merely holding up a common bird that lives according to its God-given capabilities and function and showing that God provides for it.
Today, I’m going to listen to Jesus’ command and choose not to worry. God cares for the birds. He provides for me as well.
Wishing you faith for today,