Consider the lilies of the field

Posted on March 16, 2020

I feel overwhelmed when I turn on the news at night. The situation is scary. Lots of ‘what ifs’ swirl around my mind and I find myself starting to worry about all sorts of things. I woke up earlier then usual this morning worrying, largely about things I cannot control.

Then I step outside. The morning sun casts a beautiful glow over the trees. A gentle breeze blows and I hear a bird burst into song. What a contrast to the news of the night before.

That contrast reminds me of a wonderful thing Jesus said to his disciples when they were consumed with worry.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that 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, will He not much more clothe you?”

Worry achieves nothing.

During the extraordinary situation we find our world in we can allow worry to consume us. We might fall ill, but for the most of us, we will recover quickly.

There are also sincere concerns we hold for our elderly relatives and those most vulnerable in the community such as the homeless.  But again, I would point to the words of Jesus who said: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  The simple fact is that not only is worrying of no use, it is often profoundly unhelpful.

Life as we know it will change dramatically over the coming weeks, but the sun will still rise and set, and life will return to normal again. Reports coming out of China indicates that the worst has past, and that gives us hope.

We can choose to worry, or we can choose a different emotion. I am flabbergasted at some of the scenes I see on the TV: people fighting over a roll of toilet paper, American citizens buying additional guns, Australians buying deep freezers. Is this who we chose to be when times become hard and scary?

There is a better way. And in times like these it is the better way that will see us through. Jesus promises that Father will clothe us with countless blessings. He shows us that love is the better way. That when we love the vulnerable, care for those in need, love our neighbour, then we will see a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.

Turn off the news for a little while. Step outside, listen to the birds sing, watch the sun rise and set. Tomorrow it will rise again. Why worry? Choose love.

Dr Paul Browning

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