Sometimes we take good things God gives us and turn them into worries
22 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. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 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! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 28 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! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
In verse 25, Jesus remarks that worrying won’t make anyone live any longer. In fact, we know through science and medicine that stress and anxiety are far more likely to take hours away from your life. God gave us things like clothes and food for our benefit, but it’s so easy for us to make things too complicated for ourselves and to turn them around into obsessions.
It’s comforting that Jesus understands how we worry about our bodies. He lived a normal human life, and he wore clothes and ate food too. And both God-given things were taken away from Jesus on the cross. He understands the importance of these things, from a personal human level and from God’s higher understanding level. And he reminds us that God cares much more about us, as his people, than we could ever worry about what to wear or what to eat.
Head: Can you think of times when God has provided for you, just like he provides for the animals?
Heart: Do you personally struggle with worries over clothes and food?
Hands: How can we help each other to be at ease with our bodies?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the good things you give us. You give us food to sustain our bodies, and clothes to protect us and keep us warm. We look forward to a time when we will be free of all worries and anxieties. But until then, guard our hearts from worries. Protect our minds from anxiety, and the temptations of obsessing over earthly things. In your name, Amen.
A song to listen to: In Christ Alone