Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 30, 2020
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
As I write these words, the United States currently has the highest unemployment rate it has seen since the Great Depression, with many experts expecting the number to swell to over 20% nationally in the coming weeks, not to mention several hard hit states with over 30% of the labor force out of work. In addition to this, countless millions more, while still employed, face reduced wages or the very real threat of job loss over the coming months. While this moment is unquestionably a threat to our stability and general well being, it also threatens to derail our trust in God’s ability to provide for us when we are unable to provide for ourselves.
We live in a culture that has long denied the existence of spiritual realities. We trust what can be seen, measured, and observed, and see any connection between the physical and spiritual worlds as a medieval carry over that we’ll be free from soon enough. In an effort to push back against this impulse, religious people often swing the pendulum too far in the other direction, saying all that matters is the spiritual world, and we make the error of separating out the two, with God and his spiritual world up there, and the real everyday world of creation down here.
I point these realities out because it is incredibly easy to make this mistake when reading Jesus’ words about God’s provision. When he says “Do not worry about your life,” he is not saying “your life and physical needs are of no concern to me.” Similarly, when he says in verse 33 to “seek first the Kingdom of God,” this is not meant to be understood in some disembodied way. What then is going on here?
Jesus reminds us of what we are prone to forget: that we are made in the image of God and destined to reign with him for eternity. While creaturely needs are important and not to be dismissed, you and I are not defined by our appetites and desires. Your hunger does not dominate you and your vulnerabilities do not control you. Yet we not only easily forget this truth, but we behave in ways that betray our true natures. We become beastly creatures, obsessed with our own comfort, pleasure, and security, and in times of great uncertainty this impulse is only heightened. Yet Jesus reminds us that this does not have to be so.
How would you live differently if you truly knew God would meet your every need? How would your vision of the world and your place in it change if you were free from believing that your greatest need in life was securing access to material comforts? How might it change your very view of yourself and of God?
If we believe material provision is the greatest need we face in life, when it is compromised or threatened, so too is our own sense of worth or value. We feel shameful and diminished as humans, and assume our Lord sees us the same way. Yet Jesus at every turn in this passage longs for us to remember the goodness, mercy, and love of our Father in heaven, who gently and tenderly cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Our Lord will not only meet our physical needs, he in his kindness will remind us that we are physical beings being made ready for his Kingdom. And so, “Do not worry about tomorrow.”
Father, through our struggles and trials on earth, make us ready to live forever as citizens of your kingdom, and set our hearts on high with you and all the company of heaven, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How has concern for physical and material needs blinded you to the greater call upon your life to be made virtuous and holy, a son or daughter of the King?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
We are made in the image of God and destined to reign with Him for eternity #WisdomHunters #worry #truth #Jesus
4 minute video: The Porter’s Gate/Audrey Assad:
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