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
There are a multitude of reasons for my tendency to be anxious and worried. I can come up with a thousand different reasons for letting my fear overwhelm me and lead me into a state of anxiety. Yet, I think this verse hits the mark for me on a deep heart level. At the heart of my struggle with worry and anxiety is an underlying doubt and unbelief in my value and worth before the Lord. I doubt that my Creator and Savior truly means what he says about his deep and personal love for me. I struggle in my heart to truly understand that I am a treasured possession of the Lord God Himself. I doubt the countless stories in the Bible where God demonstrates this Fatherly love for his people. I doubt the many instances and evidences in my life where he has demonstrated his Fatherly love for me. My doubt runs deep at times and I spiral into a well of depression and fear.
This line of reasoning and thought is exactly what Jesus is speaking about in this verse. Jesus is countering my faulty and broken thought patterns with simple truths that are easily and readily recalled for encouragement. Am I worried about my life in the future? Am I anxious about my daily bread? Then I am to look at the multitude of birds all around me and see the love and compassion that my Father extends to these creatures. As I sit here this morning on my porch, I am surrounded by the sounds of many different birds calling in the trees. There’s a heron down in the creek fishing. Hawks are circling above. All of them go about their daily activity. All of them being fed by the hand of God. The great Creator of the universe continually provides for their needs. They have no worry or anxiety.
My life is more complicated than that of a bird. Well, at least I like to think that my life is more complicated than a bird. The Lord God cares for these birds and provides all that they need on a daily basis. There is no planting and growing and harvesting and storing of food. There is no retirement nest egg in the life of a bird. They are continually in need of their daily bread. They do not know where the next meal will come from. They do not store up for the lean and hard times. They simply trust in the daily provision of their Creator.
This is the object lesson I need in my life. When fear and anxiety abound in my life, I can take courage and assurance in the many birds that live in my area. My Heavenly Father cares for and provides for them on a daily basis and I am of more value in his eyes. I am no mere creature of the air. I am a child of God. I am an heir with Christ. I have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, who came down from heaven to take all my sin upon himself on the cross and pay the penalty I could never ever pay. This alone is all the demonstration of God’s love for me that I should need. My value to my Father is confirmed by the life and death of his one and only Son, Jesus.
I know that worry and anxiety will continue to creep into my life and seek to bring me down. The enemy will bring his seed of doubt and seek to cause me to despair. Jesus calls me to lift my eyes and see his love and compassion for the birds of the air and understand that I am of more value than these. My Father and Savior will give me my daily bread. The love he has for me is unlimited. The grace and mercy extended to me is limitless and abundant. When anxiety rears its ugly head, I need only cast my gaze upon Jesus and know that no matter the circumstance He is with me and he will never leave me. His love and compassion are all I ever need.