S20P1 – The obstacles to faith: worry
Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
It is a bold statement to tell us not to worry about our lives. Specifically, Jesus address in this passage food, drink and clothing. What these three things have in common is that they are necessities, and we could add to them shelter and companionship. We can rewrite this verse to say that we should not worry about having our needs fulfilled. When we worry about our basic needs, we make a statement that we do not trust that those needs will be met. In turn, we are showing our lack of trust in God to provide those needs. Worry stands at odds with faith, and the two cannot coexist.
In this chapter of Matthew, Jesus later compares the worrier to the pagan Gentile [v. 31-33]. The illustration is harsh but accurate. Those who do not follow God or trust in him surely should worry as they have no promise of being kept. They blow in the wind, to and fro, with no foundation to keep them secure. They can rely on nothing but the temporary and natural to provide even a semblance of security. We, however, have as our resource the Creator of all things. He is all-powerful and all-providing. The things that we require to sustain us already belong to him. We only need trust that He will provide. Worry tries to steal our trust in God and distract our focus from the eternal to the temporary. Our troubles in this world are temporary, but God’s love and promises are eternal.
We cannot exercise faith and worry simultaneously. One must take the place of the other. The one we decide to raise as our banner tells of our faith. If we believe as we profess to believe, that through God all things are possible, our trust in him does not allow worry to interfere with our faith. We must remember that the things which cause us to choose between worry and faith are only minuscule in comparison to the power of God to overcome them. Father, remind us that our troubles in this world are temporary, and that You will provide for us just as You provide for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, faithful in your promise to neither leave nor forsake us.