FEAR: IT’S NOT FOR THE BIRDS
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? *
Fear is gripping the world! Fear of sickness, fear of financial loss, and the primal fear of all fears—death. What a wonderful time to be a Christian! Many people hold back the flood of terror with mounds of earthly comforts, or success, or just plain busyness. Their efforts might stem the tide for a while, but only to replace it with the drip-drip of generic worry. We can cope just fine with a little anxiety. We can manage this. Read, “control this.”
But when world events defy all vain attempts to control them, the Holy Spirit drives us down to the foundation of our faith. Reflect again on Jesus’ simple object lesson—the birds of the air. He argues from the lessor to the greater: 1) Your Father in Heaven provides for the birds. 2) You are much more valuable than the birds. 3) He will certainly provide for you. Of course, the birds which God cares for also work for a living. Have you ever seen a robin sitting on a branch waiting for a worm to drop from the sky into its mouth? We labor at our daily responsibilities, we care for the needy, both body and soul. We seek cures for diseases. We self isolate if we're sick. Yet all this must be a work of faith. Our Lord reminds us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. For the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Bottom line: Christian, what do you believe? The Almighty still reigns over creation and every detail of history, and he loves his people who trust in him, and he will never abandon us, and he answers our prayers according to his wisdom, and he dwells with us now and into eternity. Let’s pray earnestly that God will grant wisdom to us and to believers around the world, that we would know how to live out Kingdom priorities, right here, right now. In so doing, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Blessings and peace to you!
P.S. For further study on this topic, go to Resources tab, Downloads: "Face Down that Fear with Faith and Love" and "Jesus' Answer to Worry."
* Matthew 6:25-26 (ESV); other texts cited or alluded to, Hebrews 2:15, Galatians 5:6 (NIV), and Matthew 5:16 (ESV).