“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the overn, will not he much more clothe you – you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be five to you as well.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I always have trouble following Jesus’s advice here, and I think most Americans do. Worrying comes naturally to me. It’s something I watched my mom do from the youngest age, and something she probably watched her mom do. But Jesus is right, worrying will not add a single moment to my life. If anything it will make it shorter.
I find it easy to misinterpret these verses, to think Jesus is telling me not to worry about working to earn my food and clothing. Mostly because he talks about how the birds and lilies don’t have to work. But I don’t think that’s what Jesus means. I think He means to do what you do, do your best, and know that God is going to give you everything you need. After all, if he feeds the birds who don’t work, won’t he feed those who do work?
I had never bothered to think about the context of this passage before, but context is vital here. Jesus just finished talking about how you can’t serve two masters, then says THEREFORE do not worry. Woah. You can’t serve the master of worry AND the Master of God. Because worry means you aren’t trusting in God. If you are spending all your time worrying, you are not spending your time seeking the Kingdom of God. Which is what Jesus says to strive first for!
The amazing thing is that even though I understand the profoundness of that statement, I still find myself constantly relapsing. It’s a good thing “don’t worry” is written all over the Bible, because I need the constant reminders!