by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – Jesus says, “for this reason, I say to you do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat, what you will drink nor for your body as to what you will put on…”
In this paragraph, Jesus highlights one’s worry with regards to what one eats, drinks or wears. He says, “Don’t worry.” While at first glance this statement seems silly no matter who is saying it, Jesus does not flinch or fumble over his words when telling His followers not to be concerned with their basic needs.
Why would believer’s not need to worry about their basic needs in this life? Jesus uses two illustrations to validate His statement. The first one comes from the animal kingdom as He describes the actions of birds. He says, ‘birds do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, yet the Lord feeds them.’
In other words, birds do not engage in the agricultural process of tilling the ground, planting seed, or harvesting and storing crops; yet they still eat. Why? Because God is in the agricultural process, and He provides.
Jesus is not suggesting that the birds do nothing, idling waiting for food to fall from the sky, rather they look for it and they find it. Jesus’ point is not about the bird's work to obtain food, rather the bird’s expectation that they will find food.
Likewise, you and I don’t sit idly by just watching, rather we look for it, because we can expect it. This illustration teaches the listener to not waste time worrying about food and drink because God will provide it.
Jesus takes it one step further in v. 27 when He approaches this same thought from another angle, and draws attention to the limitations of human achievement. He says, ‘and who of you being worried, can add one hour to your life? As if to say, “you don’t have the power to extend your life for even one hour, so why are you worrying about something that is out of your control.
Worry will not lengthen one’s life any more than worry can put food on the table. Isn’t it ironic that worry cannot lengthen life, but it can sometimes take away from one’s life?
The logical conclusion is seen in vv. 31-32 where Jesus informs them that their doubt is considered as a dis on the character and care of God. Jesus comes back to His main point of the worthlessness of their worry by reminding them of the worries of the Gentiles (non-believers) to provide for themselves. Moreover, in reminding them of the Gentile’s worries, He also reminds them that it is God’s job to supply their basic needs.
In closing, what if my 7-year-old son came into the house telling me how stressed he was because he had to find a part-time job over the weekend to pay for his school clothes and school lunch on Monday? Not only would this be ridiculous for him to think, but as his father I would be offended by his lack of confidence in me to provide these essential things for him.
In a similar manner the Lord wants us to know that not only is our worry a waste and worthless, it’s also offensive because we fail in relying upon Him to provide our basic needs as His children. So, as you look at your life and the needs in it, stop wasting time worrying, worthlessly wondering about things that aren’t your responsibility. Just let God be God, doing what only God can do.
Who knows, you might live a little longer!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.