In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says “look” and in verse 28 “see”. Worry is a form of blindness. Remember the Earthworm who feared starvation, yet was surrounded by a giant peach. He was blind, in more ways than one.
When we’re anxious we lose sight of God because what we want and worry about are the only things we see. We spend too much time in the future, (worry’s favourite time zone), playing “what if” games, and not enough attention on God’s grace in the past and the present: the peach beneath our feet.
This blindness leads to a distorted view of God. We think He’s too busy to care about the details of our lives. We think we’re not valuable to Him. That we are alone and no one is looking out for us. Jesus seeks to silence these lies and restore our sight.
God feeds the birds, He says. They don’t sow or reap or store. They receive by grace. God clothes the flowers; they do not labour or spin, they receive by grace.
If this is how God cares for His creation, Jesus argues, how much more important to God then are you – His image bearers?
In verse 26, we move from God caring providentially for His creation, to “your heavenly Father”. God is not their Father, He is our Father. It would be inconceivable for a father to feed the family goldfish whilst allowing his own children to starve. Now, if this is true of an earthly father, how much more so, our Heavenly Father (see Luke 11:11-13). If you’ve trusted in Jesus, God is not merely a Creator to you. He is that, but He’s more than that. He’s your Father. And if He takes care of the birds, how much greater will His care be for you, His precious child.
Two points of further explanation. First, this is not a free ticket to sit back, relax and expect God to do all the heavy lifting, whilst you do nothing. Birds build nests and collect food. Even flowers draw nutrients from the soil. God provides but we still have to cooperate.
Second, this is not a ticket to a trouble-free life. At the end of the passage Jesus says, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Jesus knows we live in a world that isn’t safe – birds die – we can be free from worry but not suffering. But thankfully suffering exists within God’s loving sovereignty. Romans 8:28 says “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Calvary was coming when Jesus said these words. And if God can turn the very worst thing that ever happened in human history – the brutal crucifixion of Christ – into the best thing that has every happened in the history of the world – salvation from sin – then with time and perspective we can trust Him to work suffering for good in our lives.