So I’ve been walking in our neighborhood a lot lately. As in a lot.
One morning last week as I was walking and thinking about all that’s going on in our world – the continued uncertainty and fear related to the coronavirus – I noticed a few geese that were floating out in the middle of one of our neighborhood ponds.
It was a beautiful morning, sunny and a little cool. They were just hanging out together, even social distancing, it appeared. And do you know what those geese were concerned about? Not one. single. thing.
They were just in the moment, enjoying the pond, resting. They weren’t worried about finding supper later or what they would do if their pond dried up one day or focused at all on tomorrow.
Admittedly they don’t have responsibilities like we as humans do. But God made them to just be what they are and do whatever their next thing is. And He provides for them. Psalm 145:15-16 says, “The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.“
Watching those geese, I was, of course, reminded of the passage in Matthew about God taking care of the birds. Later on, I looked up part of that passage which is in chapter six, verses 25-26.
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
As I continued to study these and the surrounding verses, I came up with five lessons that I hope will encourage us to trust God no matter what we might be facing.
Have an undivided mind.
Isn’t it interesting how often in this passage we read about “taking thought?”
- Verse 25 “Take no thought…”
- Verse 27 “Which of you by taking thought…”
- Verse 28 “And why take ye thought…”
- Verse 31 “Therefore take no thought…”
- Verse 34 “Take therefore no thought…”
As I studied this phrase, it seems that it has to do with the worry or anxiety that comes from having a divided mind. And this makes perfect sense if you look at the verse that leads off this section of Scripture. Verse 25 starts with “therefore.” So what’s the verse before that say?
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.“
There it is. Is our mind divided between either loving and serving God or working for what the world has to offer? It’s more difficult to worry when my mind is centered on God and the promises He’s made in His Word.
Know that you are valuable to God.
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” ~Verse 26
You are not forgotten. Who would think birds are particularly worthy of attention? They don’t work, they don’t save up and provide for themselves, but God never fails to take care of them. How much more will He do the same for those He created in His own image?
Remember that God knows what your needs are.
Verse 31-32 says “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” …for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.“
Maybe food or drink or clothing aren’t your particular worries today…or maybe they are. Whatever your need is – spiritual, physical, emotional, financial – God knows all about it.
Prioritize spending time with God on a daily basis.
Have you memorized verse 33 at some point? “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We want to put God first in our lives, and probably the best way to do that is to put Him first in our day. Not that our time with Him has to be as soon as we wake up, but we want to make sure that it’s a scheduled, defined part of our day.
There have been a few times lately where I’ve not gotten up as early as I normally would, and have decided to wait until later in the day to read my Bible. Friends, it’s hard for me to stop and take the time to do it later in the day – even in “quarantine mode!”
For me, early morning works best – though I know some night owls who choose to do it at night. Either way, making Bible reading and prayer a daily priority will help us keep Christ first in our lives.
Focus on today, not tomorrow.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” ~Verse 34
Those geese certainly weren’t floating around honking to each other about whether or not they’d be able to find something to eat tomorrow. At the present moment, they had what they needed, so life was good.
If ever there was a time to practice this principle, it’s now. We don’t know when coronavirus restrictions are going to end and how different “normal” will look when they do. But we can live today to the best of our ability.
In the months to come, when we look back on this period of time, may we see how God used it to grow our faith and our trust in Him!
- Sit with This Truth: God Takes Pleasure in You
- In the Midst of Change, Here’s Who God Is to Me Today
- For the Woman Who Feels Like She’s Never Enough