When my son Ryan was little, he attended a Christian school. One day, he told me they had studied Psalm 37.
"Hey, Mom, do you know why it says 'Do not fret' three times?" he asked me.
"No, Ryan, why is that?"
"It's because God really means it. DO NOT FRET!"
Ryan was right.
Over and over in Scripture, God tells us not to worry, not to fret. He can handle this experience we call life. In this passage, Jesus tells us again, "Do not worry about your life."
Don't worry about anything. Not what you will eat, or what you will wear, or about your health.
God can handle whatever comes our way.
"Consider the ravens," He told His disciples. I usually just brush past those words, but today I decided to consider. Ravens, it turns out, can survive just about anywhere, because they aren't picky about their habitat or their food. They are very intelligent birds and can be taught to speak some words. They can work together with other ravens to capture food.
One of the facts about ravens that surprised me is that they're acrobatic and playful. According to allaboutbirds.org, young ravens will play with sticks while they fly, dropping them from the sky, then diving to catch them.
These birds fly around, enjoying life as they go. They never worry about what they'll eat because they can always find something that will do. They aren't attractive birds, but that doesn't stop them from enjoying life. Their sound is more a croak than a song, but that doesn't stop God from caring for them.
God feeds them.
God provides for them.
You will never see a raven die of starvation. You will not see a raven discouraged or unhappy about its circumstances. They take what comes and fly on. Sometimes, they fly upside down, just for fun.
How amazing is that?
Ravens are content, happy, having fun because they know something we struggle to understand. God can handle the life of a raven. It's no big deal.
If God can handle raven-life, He can handle human-life, too. He can handle my life. And yours. He's got this life of ours and it's no big deal for Him.
"How much more valuable you are than the birds!" That's what Jesus told His disciples and it's what He would have us hear, too. We are more valuable than the birds. He knows every bird. He feeds every bird.
There is great news for those of us who are living in uncertain circumstances. He knows us. We are valuable to Him. We don't have to fret or worry. He means it. Quit worrying. Trust Him.
Not fretting is part of being a disciple of Jesus. Let's get this straight before we go any further. If we are following Jesus, we should not be worrying. He can handle whatever comes our way. He knows our needs. He will provide. It may not be the provision we expect, but He will provide.
If we can trust Him to save our soul, we can trust Him to provide for our needs. We can put our faith in Him for whatever we face.
Stop worrying. Quit rehearsing the problems. If there is something you should do to fix your problem, do it. If there's not, turn to the One who can handle it all.
Give it to Him.
Leave it with Him.
Our Father, Hallowed be your name. We give our needs to you and trust you to care for us with the same generosity you show the birds of the air. Give us this day our daily bread. Fill us with your Spirit. Nothing more. Nothing less. In Jesus' name. Amen.