The birds are very busy right now. On early morning walks, I find myself stopping frequently to peer into the just-greening trees, trying to find the source of the song I cannot recognize. They’re not only advertising for mates, but also building nests—nests made of twigs and strings and straw that stand up to strong storms. And the birds are migrating. Migration itself is, to my mind, one of the great wonders of God’s creation.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words:
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 5:26).
We are so valuable to God, so loved by Him, that He calls us His children.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
But what about the passages from Jesus’ sermon where He tells us not worry about what we eat or drink or wear, because God knows what we need? How can we build that kind of faith into our daily lives?
Jesus says to his disciples and to us,
“Do not worry about your life. God will certainly provide for you because He cares so much about you.”
Can we believe him? Do we believe Him? It’s tough to answer that question honestly, isn’t it?
Jesus also uses the lilies as an example.
“And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 5:28)
Oh! That question shoots some pain through my heart. I want to believe. I want to live totally assured of God’s care. I want to live on Jesus’ promise that we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. But I have not yet achieved a worry-free faith. I guess my faith is still “little.”
Jesus is speaking to me in that question. They aren’t condemning, scolding words. They are tender. Encouraging me to rest in Him.
Psalm 106 recounts the history of the children of Israel and describes what happens when they finally reach the borders of the Promised Land:
The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
That’s one of the saddest lines in the Bible. There they were. On the threshold of all the wonderful things God had promised them. They could have had the life they’d been seeking for forty years. Yet they did not move forward because they just couldn’t believe God would keep His promises.
Dear Jesus, I don’t want that to describe my life!
If God has wonderful things ahead for me, I don’t want to miss out because I don’t trust Him.
We can have faith in God’s care for us. We’re far more valuable to Him than the birds and the lilies. Think about what He has done to bring us into His family.
Spirit, grow my faith!
O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!
© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)