Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 147:7-11, Philippians 4:4-7, 1 Peter 5:6-11
It rained hard today, soaking into the summer skin of Texas, the red dirt and rolling hills. I’ve been saying for days I needed to water the Blue Salvias, even though they’re drought-resistant. They are drooping and limp. I brushed past them yesterday and saw small blue bits floating down as I did. It is easy to believe I alone am their savior, their maker. That I must breathe life into them, coddle them into adulthood, water them in the evening, and watch them at noonday when the sun is highest and hottest. But it rained hard today, and their soil is moist and wet, and their leaves shimmer with droplets clinging in earnest. They know they need the water. And they know their true Maker gives what they need.
In our home we have a saying: We must be faithful to the Word of God and not to an outcome. This is our way of encapsulating what Jesus said in Matthew 6:
“So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (vv. 31-34).
Jesus was essentially saying that, in seeking first the kingdom, things will work out—not necessarily according to our plans, but according to His. When our attention and affection are rightly placed on God, we find that while He might not always give us what we want, He always gives us what we need.
I caught myself in worry this past week, noting it because I am not normally a worrier. I plan, I think, I process, I pray, but rarely do I worry. I know nothing can be added to my life by worrying, but sometimes I think everything will be added to my life by planning, thinking, processing, and even praying. I think I am magician and maker and manipulator, and if I do it all well, I will add to my life and flourish.
But in doing so, I am deeply deceived. Nothing is added to my life by worrying or spending time fretting about how I think things ought to go. In the end, what is taken from my life is the time I spent on something other than faithfully seeking the kingdom of God.
God provides what we need, and if we don’t have it, we don’t need it. This is a hard thing to believe and an even harder thing to live out. We are prone to inventing needs: new couches and new houses, new cars, phones, bodies, and attitudes. It’s no wonder we’re also prone to worrying when those perceived needs are not met. We, like the flowers in my gardens, may droop, and we may wilt a little, we may suffer. But “after [we] have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called [us ] to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish [us]” (I Peter 5:10).
Today, the God of all grace has given you all the graces you need because He cares for you. He will Himself restore you, confirm you, strengthen you, and establish you—for His sake and your good.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.