Luke 12:27-28 – Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
Consider the lilies, how they grow:they neither toil nor spin
Many people feel that being out in nature is their favorite way to connect with God. At our church we’re blessed to have an outdoor worship area that we use during the beautiful Oregon summers. When we’re outside many of us feel closer to God. Maybe it’s because we can see the care and perfection in the world He created (even better than the most beautiful church).
In our outdoor worship area we have these magnificent trees that some of the school children (some 50 years ago or so) planted. They reach majestically up into the sky. Aside from the occasional trimming I don’t believe the trees are hard to grow. We don’t have to worry about them. God has helped them to grow and become amazing trees. Like the Lilies in our Bible verse, they don’t do anything themselves to make their lives better. The Lord provides for all of their needs.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, how much more will he clothe you!
Do you believe that God would provide for you even if you didn’t do anything to deserve it? Inevitably someone is thinking to themselves, “But I need to take responsibility and provide for my family.” The verses following the one selected may help clear that part up.
29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.31 Instead, strive for his[f] kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Strive for His Kingdom
I believe that if you are truly keeping God as your central focus, your needs will be provided. Over the past four years, I have sadly seen many of my friends struggle while out of work. As they went in debt and were as frugal as possible, it would have been easy for them to give up and turn their back on God. I was witness to the miracle of faith in their lives. In both instances the families trusted that the Lord would provide. Were they tested? Yes, some even for years and years. They struggled, but at the core they trusted that God would provide. They didn’t lose their house or their car (out of work for 5 years and didn’t lose their house – a true miracle). Would I say every moment was rosy during those times? Now both families have jobs again and still have their homes. They kept their focus when it was truly a challenge to do so. No one had much hope to give outside of trusting God, and He came through.
We need to keep our focus on the Lord. He can and will provide for us and supply our every need. (As I write this I’m praying that I never have to go through what they went through – I am blessed by their strength). His timing may not be our timing, but He will provide.
What is God clothing us with? Robes of righteousness given to us by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to take away our sin. We are wearing the team uniform. We represent the one who sent us. We represent each other too. As we are clothed with His righteousness, provided for as we keep our focus on Him, we grow. We grow, not because of anything we’re doing (just like those trees), but because of what the Lord is doing in us. Like coffee stunts growth (is that true?), so does a lack of faith. Trusting when others feel there is no reason, and seeing the Lord come through certainly creates growth. Growth isn’t always in our lives, but it may also be in those who are watching our stories unfold. Growth isn’t always comfortable (in fact it rarely is), but it is necessary, because without growth, we are dead; dead to sin, faithless, lifeless.