COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and brought about hardship, uncertainty, and insecurity to many of us. Some have lost loved ones, many have lost jobs or taken pay cuts, and we have all lost some freedom. Because of the uncertainty and insecurity that we face, many are anxious or worried.
Feelings of worry and anxiety are a natural response to stressful situations. They may even help us brace ourselves for the situation. However, if these feelings are extreme and persist for a long time, they disrupt our lives, hamper our effectiveness, and rob us of joy, peace, and our sense of well-being.
How can we live a worry-free life during a pandemic? How can we manage the feelings of worry and anxiety during stressful times and challenging situations? In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus taught His disciples how not to worry about life.
He reminded them of a simple but powerful truth! If we let our minds dwell on this truth, it will help us to combat worry! What truth? That God is our Father! And since He is our Father, He cares and will provide for us!
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus repeatedly referred to God as “your Father” (5:16, 45, 48, 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 26, 32, 7:11, 21). Most of these references point to God as a loving Father who knows our needs and will meet them.
What is the primary duty of a father? To provide for his children and protect them! This is the basis for Jesus saying “do not worry” three times (v25, v31, and v34). He assures us that our heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide for them if we seek after Him (vv32-33).
What is the privilege of children? They can ask their father to provide for their needs! So, Jesus teaches us not to worry but to ask God for our daily needs (6:8-11). How will God respond when we ask? Jesus gives us three parables to assure us that our Father will surely provide:
1. God feeds the birds! Are you not more valuable than the birds? Yes, definitely! Then He will surely provide for you (v26).
2. God clothes the lilies, beautifully! Are you not more valuable than lilies? Yes, definitely! Then He will surely provide for you (v28-30).
3. Fathers give their children food when they ask for food, not poison (7:9-11). Since even earthly fathers, who are evil, give good gifts to their children, then how much more our heavenly Father who is good, loving, and perfect, will give good gifts to His children who ask Him for their needs. He will provide!
When I was ten, I did well in my exams and my dad wanted to reward me. So, I asked for a toy train set. I remember excitedly going with my parents that evening to get it. To my disappointment, after combing the entire amusement park that we had gone to, we did not find any toy train set. Crestfallen at home, I fell asleep.
Imagine my joy when I woke up the next day and found a brand-new toy train set beside my pillow! Dad had gone out again later that night just to get what I had asked for!
If my earthly father would take pains to find me something I asked him for, then surely our heavenly Father will give you what you need! Father loves you; ask of Him for what you need. Don’t worry or fret, He will surely provide!