Have faith; the heavenly Father will provide. Jesus tells us so in Matthew 6:24-34.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
“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 clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
This is one of the most poetic passages of the Gospels of Jesus the Christ. The images are beautiful and the metaphors are reassuring. Yet, everything is down-to-earth, simple. In essence, He says, don’t worry, the Father will provide; instead, focus on the long game and living rightly.
Now, I recognize that this is hard advice to heed when things aren’t going well: When you’re poor or homeless or jobless or otherwise without sufficient resources. And when there’s any other kind of downturn in your life. Or when the world has taken a turn for the could-care-less. But Christ has said before, “Don’t be afraid; have faith.”
I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I have prayed for help, fretted over a need or a worry, and in the end, it was when I handed them over to God in faith – your will be done – that my prayers were answered. Of course He likes us to come to Him with our concerns, petition Him with our needs, confide in Him with our worries. But what He wants is for us to trust in Him to provide. And in this passage from Matthew, Jesus us tells us, God takes care of all the beasts in the wild, how much more will He do for us?
Sometimes God provides for us directly. Sometimes He inspires others to help us. That’s where I think the “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” comes in. Righteousness isn’t just sticking ardently to the laws and rules we hear about. It’s also living by the commandments Jesus said were the most important: Love God, love one another; look out for those in need — the least of our brothers and sisters.
And thus Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.” The truly righteous will be there for you, too. If we just love one another and focus on that, as an extension of our love for God, there will be no needy and there will be no worry. If you think helping others creates dependency, and deep down you believe this is a reason to not help others, you haven’t been listening to Jesus. If judging the motivations (or, in this case, the lack of motivation) of others is your action plan, you haven’t been paying attention to Jesus’ sermons. God wants you to help others, not judge them.
Jesus seeks to promote what is the best in us. All of us. He believes we are all redeemable. That’s why He died on the cross for us, because none of us is a lost cause. And none of us is more worthy than another. And Jesus wants us to help each other through the rough times, even through the normal times, so we don’t have to worry about “tomorrow.”
God has our backs, providing for us Himself and inspiring others of us to help. Don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.