During Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was speaking to the Jewish people. At that time, their country was occupied by the Romans, and they paid extortionate taxes to keep them in power. They lived as slaves, so they were oppressed and worried a lot. Then Jesus came along and said: ‘Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’ (vv. 26-27 NLT). Jesus wasn’t calling their worries trivial or ignoring their feelings. Instead He was encouraging them to use birds as an example of how to live in faith. Birds don’t know where their next meal is coming from, but they don’t have to worry because God makes sure they get what they need. If God provides for the birds, we can be certain He’ll provide for us too, because He loves and treasures us as His children. Even if we think we’re not worth taking care of, we’re still precious to God. When we feel anxiety stealing our happiness, let’s hold on to this Scripture: ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you’ (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). It isn’t wrong to feel worried, but we shouldn’t hold on to those worries or let them control us. Instead, we should hand them over to God confidently and completely, and exchange them for His peace. God is the best Father, Carer and Provider, and we can be sure that if He looks after the birds so well, He’ll look after us even better.
Go outside to a garden or park, and sit quietly watching or listening to the birds. As you watch and listen, hand over any worries you’ve got to God. Ask Him to replace them with His perfect peace.
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