“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

If only our worry produced what we wanted, right? If only the more we worried the more answers, clarity, or abundance we received. And yet, all the energy and time that we spend worrying has no return for our lives. It can’t add anything, it only takes away. In an effort to exert control over situations that we can’t get a grasp on, we can let our thoughts and emotions turn to anxiety and fear. It can be frightening, when we become so aware of our lack of control. Whether this be with a loved one making decisions we don’t agree with or a diagnosis of which we don’t know the implications, any number of situations can leave us clamoring for control. Yet, when we respond to those situations with anxiety, we don’t gain any more control over them. We only seek to keep them in our grasp instead of bringing them to the Lord.

Jesus reminded us, with imagery from creation, to put our lives in the right perspective. While we are worried about the external factors of our lives and bodies, He even sees to clothing the grass of the field. And if God cares to give such detail to what grows from the ground—something that is here today and gone tomorrow—how much more does He care to tend to the needs of His children?

What solution did Jesus give for our worry? Seek the kingdom first. When we do that, we seek Jesus above everything else. He adds to our life all that we need. He is the Shepherd who makes sure we lack nothing. He provides what our worries can never produce.

● What external factors of your life cause you the most worry (physical provisions, finances, your home, your appearance, etc.)? How does that worry demonstrate a lack of trust in what God is providing?

● In what areas are you seeking something other than the kingdom first? How can you seek Jesus first in those areas, even in the midst of uncertainty?

● Take some time to confess your worries, and then seek the Kingdom. Ask the Lord to reorient your thoughts toward Him and His kingdom.