“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”
Jesus’ early disciples lived with war, violence, disease, and famine in a way that is foreign to many of us. On any given day, people could lose a child or lose their harvest or be robbed by a Roman tax collector. And, unlike today, there were no safety nets. There were no stimulus payments, no social security checks, no food stamps, and no hospitals.
This is not to say that our struggles in 2021 aren’t real, or that they somehow don’t matter. But it’s helpful to understand that even in the harsh environment of the ancient world, Jesus had the audacity to tell his followers not to worry about their lives. He was reminding them that God called them into a relationship with him. And if God watches over plants and provides for animals, if these other parts of creation have what they need, then we can trust that God will provide everything we need. Why wouldn’t we expect our Father in heaven to provide for his children?
Jesus is showing us how to find relief from our worries and anxieties, no matter what they are. For God is our loving Father. If there’s something we need, we can ask him to provide it. If there’s a struggle that we face, we can ask God for help. If we feel totally lost or confused about what we should do, we can ask him for clarity. And as we pray these things, we can trust not only that God can provide what we need, but also that he will.
Father, no matter what challenges I face, help me to remember your love and your faithfulness to me. Amen.