Birds Don't Worry

I have begun the new year rehearsing a list of things to worry about. Not the best start. None are life-altering events, just the normal stress of details, deadlines and efficiency (or lack of).

Time to go back to life-giving words, and breathe them into my anxious heart.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26

I love these words, especially the part about the birds.

Birds are seemingly insignificant creatures and yet God takes care of them. We worry because we think God might not be concerned about our needs, since they are seemingly insignificant.

Consider birds. They’re not out there sowing seeds and reaping at harvest time so that they will have something to eat. They don’t plant a garden and work it. They don’t gather nuts and store them away like squirrels do. What is their weekly meal plan and their strategy for getting food?

Don’t miss this part: YOUR heavenly father feeds them.
Whose father? Not their father—your father.
Someone else’s father feeds them.

God is their Creator, but he’s not their father. He’s your father—and mine.

Then Jesus asks, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” Are you more valuable than birds? The answer is supposed to be yes, much more. That’s reason #1 why we shouldn’t worry.

His next question is reason #2. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” The answer is no one. Worrying cannot prolong your life, and doesn’t add any value to it. Worrying helps no one.

Jesus moves on to lilies and grass, two very temporary things. God dresses the lilies in splendor and clothes the grass of the field, knowing that they will be gone at season’s end.

Once again Jesus prods us to answer whether or not we are more valuable than grass? We nod yes. Then he indirectly gives us the reason why we doubt. He addresses his audience, “O you of little faith!” That stings. Most of what I worry about goes far beyond my next meal or what I’ll wear to Bible study. But it’s the same truth. When I worry, I’m not trusting. O me of little faith.

Jesus continues with, “So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ And then he gives us reason #3 why we shouldn’t worry.

“For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Jesus is telling us not to live like pagans (unbelievers). They don’t have a heavenly Father—we do. No one has promised to take care of them. That’s why they worry. That’s why they run around in a frenzy trying to provide for their own needs.

I don’t want to live like those who don’t know God. What kind of a testimony is that?

I have a heavenly Father. He knows what I need. I have no cause for worry.

Jesus then tells us what we should focus on instead of worrying. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Jesus gives us an alternative to worry. Focus on the agenda of our heavenly Father—pursue his kingdom and his righteousness. These are the issues of life that are more important than food and more important than clothes.

He concludes: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Don’t indulge in worrying about days that are yet to come. Remember the birds. Your heavenly Father feeds them today and he will feed them again tomorrow.

5 comments to Birds Don’t Worry

  • Barbara Tyndall

    This brought me to tears, wonderful tears of wonder and joy! Thank you for unpacking these precious words in such a beautiful way. He is truly Jehovah Jireh!!!

  • Lise

    It is hard to fathom the love of God and therefore, so unnatural to trust in it. Thanks for sharing this reminder of how much He loves us and how completely we can rely on Him.

  • Susan M.

    Thank you for this reminder this morning! I think I need to memorize those words from Matthew!

  • Richie Malone

    Right before I read your blog this morning, I was watching about 100 elk in a pasture at a distance from me. I was thinking about their habits, how they are kind of like gypsies wandering around together, camping out together at night, horsing around and napping during the day, and grazing at meal times in a big group. I was pondering how they are provided all they need to live like this their whole existence – winter coats, shelter under trees, water from several sources, sun to melt snow so they can get to grass. I don’t see even one that looks stressed out. God takes care of the elk and the birds and he will take care of me.

  • Beverly Schlomann

    God is a loving and wise Father. His commands are for my good. When He commands me not to worry, he is not being capricious–He is looking out for my best interest.

    Thank you, Janet, for this life-giving reminder