I recently created a 14-day devotional booklet for my church called “Supplying Every Need.” We’re using it to prepare for our upcoming Stewardship Commitment Sunday on November 8. I will be posting a devotional each day between now and then. Enjoy!
Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
Our cat, Peanut, is the very picture of contentment. Obviously a creature that sleeps 18 hours a day doesn’t worry about much. He doesn’t worry, for example, where his next meal is coming from. When his food bowl is empty, he’s learned through experience that all he has to do is meow and purr loudly and rub up against the leg of some human being in the house and one of us will fill his bowl.
Peanut is being exactly what God created him to be. He doesn’t worry; he isn’t anxious. Instead he lives in a relationship of complete dependence on us humans—day by day—never doubting for a moment that we’ll provide everything he requires to live.
This is Jesus’ point about the birds of the air: it’s not that they don’t work. As Dallas Willard points out, “They are among the busiest citizens of the earth.” They work hard, “but our feathered friends do not seem to worry about the physical supports of their life, such as food and water and shelter. They simply seek it as they need it and take what they find. And that is how we should be. Having our treasures in heaven frees us to live simply in the present so far as our vital needs are concerned. We work hard, of course, and we care for our loved ones. But we do not worry—not even about them. Having food and clothing and God, we can be content.”
Jesus used birds and flowers to make his point about not worrying. What can a cat or dog teach you about it? As you go through your day today, make note of how frequently you start to worry. Whenever you feel worry coming on, use it as a cue to pray: “God, please handle this thing that I’m worried about. I’m putting it in your hands.”
1. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (New York: HarperOne, 1997), 209-10.