Jesus tells His disciples in verse 23 that they shouldn’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will “worry about itself.” Sometimes Jesus is funny! How can tomorrow worry? In a humorous way, Jesus is trying to get His disciples to realize that if they live their lives in worry, they are stressing out for no benefit. And what’s more, they’re not pleasing God, who wants us to live our lives in faith, not fear. Jesus is not saying life is easy. Look at the end of verse 34: “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Jesus wants his disciples to live in the present by real faith, making plans for the future, certainly, but holding those plans lightly. We are not in control of the future; God is.
The life of a disciple is one of childlike trust, not adultish anxiety. Jesus is not saying we should be passive and not work! The birds of the air have to go and look for food, but the point is that the food is there for them because God makes sure it is. “Do not worry” should be one of the most joyful, freeing commands for us to follow! Why do we resist it? I think it is because we human beings want to believe that we are in control. We are not. Think about how sad it would be if our little children worried about where their next meal was coming from. We as parents want them to trust us! In the same way, our heavenly Father wants us to trust Him.
I had a wonderful mother, and although she is with the Lord now, I hear her words in my mind frequently, and one thing she said to me often was, “Don’t borrow trouble.” She saw me borrowing lots of trouble, doing immense amounts of “worry work” about things I had little or no say about. I still have a tendency to think that if I can imagine over and over the worst possible scenario in any situation, I can control the outcome. This, of course, is ridiculous. May we all “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” When we make this our priority, God will provide all our needs. This is living by real faith.
- What trouble are you borrowing from the future right now? Ask God to help you cast all your anxiety on Him, as the Apostle Peter writes (1 Peter 5:7). Remember that Peter was one of the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking in today’s passage!
by Ruth Thompson Carver