Economic unrest. Job loss. Illness. Wars. The deaths of precious lives.
Uncertainty of the future.
Panic. Fear. Anxiety. Worry.
These must have also been issues in Jesus’ day. Five times in Matthew chapter 6 He uses the expression, “Take no thought”. (vs. 25-34 KJV) “No thought” for… our lives… for what we will eat… what we will drink. Even about what we will wear.
The original Greek meaning behind this phrase does not mean mindless existence.
Proverbs 21:5 teaches us that “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance…” (ESV) It’s important to plan. This phrase, “take no thought” would better be interpreted as do not be anxious or worried to the point of “fretting”.
Jesus then uses a simple and yet profound example. The “birds of the air”. They do not sow seeds. They don’t reap a harvest. Neither do they “store up” for the future. And yet, “your heavenly Father feeds them.” (vs. 26 ESV)
So what is Jesus really teaching us? In verse 32 we are reminded that our heavenly Father knows that we have a need for food and clothing. Then he brings it all together in vs. 33 — “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)
Rather than seeking our “day to day” needs out of a sense of desperation, Jesus is admonishing us to seek Godly attributes first and foremost.
In the early days of the Billy Graham crusades, Ethel Waters mesmerized thousands with her amazing alto voice as she sang, “I sing because I’m happy… I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow — and I know, He watches, me…”
Relax. Allow faith in your heavenly Father to replace fear and fretting. No matter what, trust in His goodness. Let him calm your troubled spirit. Consider the birds of the air. It just might turn your life around.
From the American Association of Christian Counselors: www.aacc.net