The Birds, The Flowers, The Sheep & The Worrywart
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. (Luke 12:22-23)
After preaching to the people about Greed, Jesus changed his topic to Worry. They’re both closely connected. Greed never gets enough; Worry fears it’ll never have enough.
Jesus taught that we should not worry, and explained that life is more important than the material things we often fret about. Isn’t it silly if lose our focus on life to chase after things that are only meant to support life?
Carefree Like The Birds
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:24-26)
A critic once said to me, “How could Jesus teach us not to care about the necessities of life? Will God rain down food just because we pray? Does it mean we don’t need to work? Jesus taught Christians to be irresponsible.”
But if we are to examine this passage, Jesus taught us not to worry. He didn’t say we shouldn’t care or needn’t be concerned. And he certainly didn’t teach us to be irresponsible.
It is true that the birds “do not sow or reap”. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t need to work; after all, you’ve got to be an early bird to catch the worm. They don’t worry, but they don’t sit with their mouths open and wait for God to feed them either. Birds do not spend more time than is necessary looking for food.
Paul taught that “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Christians are to be responsible and not be a burden to others. We need to work. But work and the other necessities that our income buys shouldn’t become our obsession.
As Jesus explained, worry doesn’t improve anything. Our life doesn’t get longer because we worry, though the stress will probably shorten it. Our problems don’t disappear because we worry, though our emotions will probably confuse the solutions.
Beautiful Like The Flowers
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you — you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 22:27-31)
God clothes the flowers. He provides the air, sunshine and rain. But let’s also remember that it is not a bed of roses (pardon the pun). They have to be exposed to the elements to blossom. Flowers bloom, and they die, before they bloom again. God makes the flowers beautiful.
God clothes us too. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27) That’s quite an incredible outfit. Our lives must reflect Jesus’, and we know it is not a bed of roses. We will bloom, we will suffer, and we will bloom again. God makes us beautiful.
Jesus warned us not to run after material things like others do. God is not ignorant, He knows what we need. And He is not uncaring, He will certainly provide. What we need is trust that He will.
Our priority in life is to pursue God instead of the many other things we constantly worry about. Let’s make Him our Lord and let Him take care of us. He’ll do a better job anyway.
The Little Flock
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 22:32-34)
When Jesus used the term “little flock”, it reminds me of the beautiful assurance of Psalm 23. We are God’s little flock and guess what the Good Shepherd is pleased to give us? He is happy to reward us with the Kingdom. What an awesome gift for a diminutive flock!
Everything in this world will fade away, but heaven is eternal. So let’s not waste our time worrying over fleeting matters when Christ has redeemed us and we’ve inherited heaven. We can look forward to the great reward that God has prepared for us.
We can be like carefree birds, beautiful flowers and God’s little flock. But we’ve chosen to be worrywarts.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry of the Central Christian Church. He describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.