Bible Society of South Africa

Fear and worries: What if I don’t have enough? – 17 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

Bible text(s)

25“This is why I tell you not to be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? 26Look at the birds: they do not sow seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds? 27Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?

28“And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.

Matthew 6:25-29GNBOpen in Bible reader

The passage in Matthew 6:25-29 has always been one of my favourites. Not only because of the wonderful promise summed up therein, but also the beautiful and practical images that are used to convey this message.

In years gone by when I was still in primary school, I remember how we would have a school period dedicated to worship every Thursday morning. For the duration of a whole hour, the entire school met together to sing Christian songs. One of the hits was, of course, the popular Afrikaans children’s song, Kyk hoe dat die voëltjies vlieg:

Kyk hoe dat die voëltjies vlieg
Sommer so, hoog daarbo.
God laat al die voëljies vlieg.
Hoog daar bo.
Hy doen soveel meer vir my.
Ek sal altyd dankbaar bly
En my nie bekommer nie,
Hy’s by my.

As humans, we tend to brood over everything and worry about what tomorrow will bring. We often wonder whether we have saved enough for our retirement, have enough money for groceries, enough petrol in the tank, enough to provide for a new baby. Enough to maintain our lifestyle …

But, over and over, the Bible reminds us not to be afraid and not to worry about our future – also not whether we are going to have enough of something or not. Easier said than done, hey? Especially if one is inclined to overthink things.

For me, the key is in verse 27: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

My mother, a teacher, had the following quotation of the Dutch watchmaker and writer, Corrie ten Boom, displayed on a cupboard: “Worrying doesn’t simply empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

How true isn’t this? One can be paralysed with fear and in the end, one is simply unproductive and ineffective. I believe this is also what Jesus emphasised in Matthew 6; it will not help to worry one iota. We can use our time so much better – we can ask God for help and we can try to formulate plans and be productive.

To trust God to provide means that we cannot just sit back and relax. Early every morning, the birds outside start off their days flying around looking for something to eat. And God provides for them every day. So why not for us too?

Prayer: God, thank you that I can know that You will provide for my needs and those of my loved ones. Thank you that I can know that you will take care of us. Help me not to waste time by worrying. Help me to see and grasp opportunities instead. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.10
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