Lenten Reader | Day 12


Then 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. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 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?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, 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, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

- Luke 12:22-34
Let’s talk about worry. I wonder why Jesus was only talking about life, clothes, and food. Were there other things worth being anxious over? I eventually realized that he was talking to the disciples – the ones who had already left their jobs, families, boats, nets, and everything else they knew to follow Jesus. I imagine at the time they were traveling with Jesus these would represent the real “needs” that they would have had to consider.

I love how Jesus uses the natural world to illustrate his lesson for the disciples. One thing I enjoy doing is identifying birds that are at work around the house. I actually made a list of all the species I saw at home when I lived in North Carolina. I have begun a new list now that I am here in Ohio. As I try to identify the birds, I am so thankful that as beautiful as they are, we are so much more precious to God.

Regrettably, when I get anxious it is usually for the wrong reasons. When I am anxious it can consume a huge amount of time and energy trying to come up with a “solution”. This sets God aside and allows me to try and figure it out on my own power. Does this give God the opportunity to build up my faith? No. Does this give God an opportunity to work in the situation? No. Does God receive the credit and accolades he deserves from a thankful heart? No. This simply demonstrates a lack of faith and trust in God to lead me in all things.

To refocus my attention, I must remember instances where God has been faithful and how much he has blessed me. I quickly realize where my heart and treasures have been. Only after I repent and begin to thank God for his many blessings am I able to hand God back the reigns.

Please take a few minutes and pray to God, thanking him for specific times when God has been faithful. And pray that you will seek first the kingdom of God so that your heart would be there also.

-Andy Wood