Jesus said: “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?” Matthew 6:25
We live in a scary world where war and terrorism are real, where unemployment and underemployment is a reality, where shortages and famines threaten, where marriages break under the strain of daily life, and where friendships cease over politics. Jesus’ words are a great comfort and remind us that we were created for more than anxiety and fear. We were created for life in God’s own image!
If God is capable of providing body and breath for us, then God is capable of providing anything that we truly need.
To prove his point, Jesus pointed to the birds of the air. Because they do not worry about their next meal, they do not hoard their seeds in tiny bird pantries or store their grain in tiny bird silos. God provided for their need — and fearing, worrying, fretting, or “helping” the process along is unnecessary.
The same holds true for the flowers of the field. The brilliant red poppies and anemones of Israel lasted only a day, but God clothed them royally. No amount of worry by the lilies would have made God’s work or provision any greater or any lesser. If God cares for the plants and animals, how much more care will God lavish upon us — those created in the Divine Image? God created us a little lower than the angels. Will not God provide for us in every area of our lives? (See Matthew 6:25–33)
When we strive for God’s kingdom and righteousness, we will find our trust in God increasing. Worry, fear, anxiety, and doubt will subside and we will begin to breathe freely and live fully. We start our journey by remembering and giving thanks.
For those familiar with the Bible, we see that many stories have the same theme: God loves people; they walk away from God and get into trouble; God calls them to come back; they return to God; and God welcomes back the people. As we remember this ancient pattern, we realize that it is also our life’s pattern.
In the Scripture and in our own experience, we discovered that God’s great desire is to be in love and friendship with us. We give thanks for being included in this love story. We also remember that God is still writing this story through Jesus who lived, died, and rose again so to give us abundant and eternal life. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past gives us courage for the present and hope for the future.
In this season of remembrance and gratitude, it is right to pause and reflect.
In light of Jesus’ teaching on provision, how has God cared for you?
- Do you have enough food?
- Are you clothed and sheltered from the heat and the cold?
- Have you experienced love and friendship?
- Were there any moments of pure joy?
Would you say that God is faithful?
As we remember our history, we find that God often worked through others to meet our needs. We are the women we are today because of the selfless sharing of others. Parents, teachers, neighbors, coaches, and others loved us and shaped us in childhood. Supervisors, colleagues, friends, and mentors supported, encouraged, and guided us as adults. Our church families from the first flush of faith worked with God to form us as disciples of Jesus. We have people who pray for us and with us, who give their time, energy, and resources to us, and who stand by us in all times.
When we remember those whom God sent to give us a glimpse of God’s kingdom and righteousness, we are grateful and humbled. May God give us grace to become such people for our employees, friends, children, and husbands that they may live life free from worry. May our testimony help them trust in God’s faithfulness.
About Carol Pazdersky
Carol Pazdersky is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. She serves the faith communities of St. John’s UMC in Lutherville, MD, and Idlewylde UMC as lead pastor. As the member of the District Committee on Ministry, Carol has mentored other women as they answer their call to ministry. On a daily basis, Carol ministers with women who are seeking to balance their personal, professional, and spiritual lives. She is a wife, mother of three young adults, friend, and animal lover and on the same journey to find balance.