“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26 ESV)
Friend to Friend
We couldn’t decide what to name him. We knew, however, that he needed a name.
He was a beautiful and determined red bird who seemed to want to become a part of our family. Every day for weeks, this cardinal would come to the windows around our house; and when I say windows, I mean every single window around our house.
He visited the windows in the kitchen and in the family room. He perched outside my bedroom windows and the ones in my daughters’ bedroom. He even stopped by the window in the bathroom once.
But he didn’t just visit. He hung around. It was as though he wanted to be a part of our conversations. If we had opened one of the windows where he so frequently perched, I expect he would have flown in and made himself at home.
In Today’s Truth Jesus points His listeners to the birds of the air for a very important reason, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26 ESV)
This is Jesus’ answer for anxiety. In the verse just before this Jesus had instructed His listeners to stop being worried or anxious about their lives. With His direction to look at the birds that neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, Jesus isn’t condoning a lazy lifestyle or a lack of prudent preparation. Instead, Jesus is urging us not to concern ourselves so much with what we cannot predict — not to worry about an unknown future.
When Jesus said “look at the birds,” He meant it literally. In the moment Jesus spoke these words, I imagine Him motioning to His listeners to look at birds flying nearby. When we are anxious or worried, Jesus gives us another place to look.
This sounds simple enough, but I think sometimes we can get so busy moving from one place to the next, or so preoccupied with a burden in our hearts, that we don’t actually look at the birds of the air. There’s a really good reason why Jesus wants us to look at the birds, though.
After pointing us to look at the birds of the air, and how they neither sow nor reap, Jesus asks the question, Are you not of more value than they? When we look at the birds, Jesus wants us to remember our value to our Heavenly Father and His desire and ability to give us what we need.
There are a lot of places we can look to determine our worth, follows on social media, promotions at work, love – or the lack of it – from family and friends. I wonder if life circumstances have told you you’re not more valuable than the birds to God. Maybe your experiences make it hard for you to believe that God has placed any value on you.
Sometimes we’re tempted to look around at what other people are doing – how they’re behaving, what they’re posting, the things they are accomplishing, even how they are dressing. When we’re tempted to pull out our measuring sticks and compare what’s happening in our lives to what’s happening in theirs, we can remember this verse.
I love that these words in Matthew come out of Jesus’ mouth while He walked on this earth in the midst of His creation. The life of Jesus answers any questions we may have about our value to God.
I finally named our red bird. I call him Murray. Now, I look forward to when I will see him, because each time I look at Murray, I remember the love and care of my Savior.
What are you worried about today that you cannot predict?
Dear God, Thank You that no matter what I face I can gaze upon Your creation and remember You are in control. Help me notice the touches of Your beauty all around me today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How will you shift your gaze from what you cannot predict and fix your eyes on Jesus?
Today, find a moment to step away from where you normally put your eyes — your computer screen, phone, desk at work, or assignment for school — and step outside. Listen for the birds. Look for them. Let the wind brush by your face, and watch the clouds drift by your eyes. As you do, remember God’s beauty, goodness, power, and control. Then thank Him for Who He is and His activity in your life.
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Today I am worried about traveling back home. The road is not my favorite place to be. But I am outside doing just as you suggested, listening to birds and hoping to see some. We have one more day before we start the trek home. There’s something so freeing about watching the birds and all of God’s creation. I don’t know why God cares for me so but I am so glad He does.
Hi Mary, I feel the same way when I look at the birds!
Wow, did I need this today! I just found out that my Social Security will be cut off for the remainder of this year because they have deemed I made too much money last year. With my medical expenses and my husband’s we are far from “well off”! I guess we will really have to get down to the bare bones of what are needs and what are wants. Thank you, Katy 🙂 God has been good to us through the years. We’ve always been taken care of, but it is a little scary.
Praying for you as you navigate uncertain waters, Joy!
Dear Terri, Thank you for sharing your heart. I have personally experienced some of the things you wrote about and would never desire to dismiss or diminish someone’s struggle.
I’ve re-read this inspiration from this am and I’m still convinced of the power of this passage in Matt. from the message of Jesus. I think that God gave us the birds for the reasons you mentioned; they are the delightful, funny messengers of our world.
My husband and I have been struggling with financial problems lately, (who isn’t?) and when
I default to the “worry button”, all that happens is frustration and unanswered questions.
Just this last week I read this passage in Matt. and thought, when I pray at the end of the day, I’m going to thank God for things of nature that I saw that day that made me laugh or smile! Then, my prayer requests don’t seem so desperate. I can actually realize, God gave us nature and all the wonders in it, because He knew this world, as it has aged, was going to be hard. We need to see His handiwork from season to season and look at His greatness.
Birds do not worry. They just are!
I wish I could fix my gaze more on Jesus and less on the insignificant things that worries me, compared to the magesty and awesomeness of God reflected in Nature. We just need to lift our eyes to the sky every morning to notice the beauty of God. Thank you for bringing our attention to God’s creation. Please, pray for my family and I since we are looking for a home since tbe pandemic begun. God bless you and give you peace.