At the end of the service on Sunday we heard this beautiful song ‘Do Not Worry’ written by Ellie Holcomb. Seems simple right? Just don’t worry. Yet in reality it doesn’t always feel that easy. For many of us, this season is filled with worry whether that be worry over exams and deadlines, job security or finding a job in a time of high unemployment, ours and our loved ones health, home schooling, going back to work or not being able to.
Twice Jesus commands us not to worry, but Jesus is less interested in telling us what to do than in showing us why. Jesus gives tonnes of reasons why we shouldn’t worry. He tells us that life is about more than food or drink or clothes (v25). He tells us that it’s futile to worry since it doesn’t actually help matters – we can’t make our lives longer by worrying, in fact quite the opposite (v27). He also rebukes this worry as something that only makes sense if you don’t know God (v32a) – worry is an attitude that is inconsistent with being a Christian, since those who know God also know and trust God to provide for them. He reminds us that “your heavenly Father knows that you need them”, pointing us to God’s fatherly care, a level of care unique to followers of Jesus that birds or flowers don’t enjoy (v32b). Finally, he tells us that since today has plenty enough to occupy our attention, it’s just plain pointless to add to our troubles by introducing tomorrow’s hypothetical/potential troubles that may not even happen into the equation (v34).
Nature itself testifies to God’s providence towards his creatures. Since God is the creator of the birds and flowers, he provides for them. First, Jesus points out the way God provides for the birds. Jesus’ point is not that they do not work, but that they do not fret or worry. And Jesus says, are not you, one of God’s precious children, more valuable than a bird? If God feeds and cares for them, he will surely care for you, since he is not only your creator but also your father! Secondly, Jesus points out the flowers. If God cares about the flowers enough to clothe them even more splendidly than Israel’s wealthiest king, how much more does his love and care extend to you? If the birds of the air and the flowers of the field are provided for by God, he will surely provide for his people.
This is what writer Ellie Holcomb had to say…
“I wrote this song while I was pregnant with my little girl. I could not stop worrying about her. I remember reading this passage in Matthew 6 during that particular season and being struck that God tells us NOT to worry. It caught my attention because I couldn’t seem to stop! Something amazing happened as I began to memorize this passage from Matthew & write this song. I began believing that I didn’t have to worry because God is a good Father who provides well for His children. I would start to worry and then we’d drive past a beautiful field of wild flowers or a flock of birds, and I’d remember! If God takes care of those beautiful flowers and those flighty birds, how much more will He take care of me? I started listening to Creation’s song, and it changed my heart from one full of worry to a heart full of hope and trust in a faithful Provider. I still love singing this song because it helps me remember that worrying can’t add a single hour to my life, but that trusting God can bring beautiful and wonderful peace even in the midst of uncertainty.”
Listen to ‘Do Not Worry’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbbGjx4ZKL8
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV) Do Not Worry 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.