If there is a word that captures what we’re experiencing with this Coronavirus pandemic, it has to be the word “unprecedented.” I have heard this word used so many times in the past few weeks, and it does capture our global cultural moment. This virus has circled the globe disrupting everything: transportation, business, entertainment, sports, restaurants, church—even get-togethers with friends and extended family! It is unprecedented.
And while there is so much speculation about what could be coming in these unprecedented times, it is always helpful to step out of our moment and remember Jesus’ timeless words.
In our everyday life, Jesus reminds us to avoid worry and instead focus on what is most important:
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 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? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
- Takeaway: God has you covered, and worry only depletes you.
Then he adds:
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
- Takeaway: If God creates the seemingly random beauty of wildflowers all around us, He is able and will take care of your needs.
Jesus uses birds and flowers as visual reminders that your Heavenly Father will feed and clothe his own—and he also helps us remember that worry is a warning sign that we’re losing perspective.
Worry can serve a useful purpose: think of it as a light that flashes on the dashboard of our car, telling us that our car needs maintenance. When worry flashes its anxious signal, let it be a reminder to lean in, trusting fully in the goodness of your Heavenly Father.
Then Jesus sums up his teaching, giving us his prescription:
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:25–34
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else...” This is so good: instead of spending our time worrying, focused on all the things that could go wrong, refocus on what we know to be true about God: that he is a good, good Father who loves you and loves to give good things to His children. In this unprecedented time, this is the place of peace.
What are some practical ways that we can “Live righteously, seeking the Kingdom of God above all else”? Let me know what you think!