February 18th, 2013: The Fifth Day of Lent

February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” ~Matthew 6.30~

In this verse, Christ delivers the line that he has been building up to for the last few verses: “…He will certainly care for you.” Perhaps the audience did not need the point made so explicitly, but Christ did not want there to be any question. And for us, reading his words a couple of millennia later, we find it very helpful to see it on the page.

Christ highlights the temporary nature of flowers. They may look pretty in a field, but they will be thrown away when the field is cleared for planting. They don’t last long, yet God cares for them – wonderfully cares for them, in fact. Compared with the temporary nature of flowers, people last for a long time. This is the point that Christ makes: If God cares for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, surely he will care for us.

“Why do you have so little faith?” Jesus asks the question that we have been leading up to for the past couple of verses. As we’ve said, worry can indicate a lack of faith or trust in God’s level of care for us or his ability to act on our behalf. Christ is saying, “Yes, God does care, and yes, he can act. He even watches over birds and flowers, and the results are plain to see. Why don’t you believe that he will do the same for you?”

Perhaps because the results are more difficult to see for us as people; we can become blinded to God’s providence. Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ guaranteed suffering (Matthew 5.10-11). Life as a citizen of God’s Kingdom is not a bed of roses. But here, he guarantees providence. This does not mean that all your earthly wants and desires will be taken care of. Rather, it means that God takes care of us, in his ways and in his time.

Lord Christ, why do I have so little faith? Please help me to trust you and to rest in the fact that you will watch over me. Help me to look to you first for my needs to be met. Remind me of the flowers, which live so briefly, yet you take such wonderful care of them. Amen. 

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