In the gospel of Luke are these words, “therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? Luke 12: 22-27 It’s human nature to worry and most of us, if we are honest worry, about our prosperity more than we like to let on.
Notice the three areas of anxiety in the verses; our life, our health and our clothing. It seems that in the time of Christ people had the same concerns as we do. We scramble around trying to find solutions and spend needless hours going over the problem without ever focusing on a solution. Again, it’s human nature to rehash the thing that gives us pain without a corresponding time of searching for solutions.
Jesus’ solution to the anxieties of life seems so naive compared to what we consider the severity of the problem. Jesus reminds us that if he cares for a bird as obnoxious as a raven, then surely He cares and provides for us. Unfortunately, we try to solve our problems by running ahead of God. Our society is impatient and it is difficult for us to wait on God for an answer and to open the door that will provide for our needs. We feel that God only helps those who help themselves and somehow we are failures if we don’t get a handle on the solution to our problems immediately.
Jesus seems to anticipate our mental response to His teaching that He looks after us, because He writes, “But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His Kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.” Luke 12: 28-31 Here is the crux of the matter. God is not saying that we should stand around waiting on Him to provide our every comfort and need. Instead, He is suggesting that we are to put the Kingdom of God first and if we are willing to do that, the necessities of life will be taken care of.
It is difficult to put our trust in God because of our anxieties. We are often paralyzed from following God and relying on His leading because we are fearful that we are hurting ourselves by responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This is the Christian struggle, how do we respond to God? It seems to me, the key is faith. When we step out in faith great things happen. Jesus says, “O men of little faith!” He knows our need is to exercise that muscle of trust and reliance on the grace and mercy of God’s love. Can there be anything better than trusting in God to guide us on our journey? He never lets us down and He never lets us fall. He is there in our worse disasters. He is ever present to hold us up when we fall down. He is the God of the universe and yet the God of our simplest thought. He is love, so why spend our days in anxiety when He stands in our corner.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11 Now, that’s a promise to stake your life on!