“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” – Luke 12.24-25From Toni Clark
There are a pair of starlings nesting under the eaves of the bungalow across the road. I spotted them a couple of weeks ago going in and out all day. They were clearly feeding their young and when I walked by, you could hear the chicks cheeping away hidden in their nest. They are so co-ordinated, one arrives with food, pops in, feeds the young, and as they emerge, the other one is there waiting to go in. One evening, Dad threw some scraps on the lawn and I think they thought all their birthdays had come at once. They couldn’t fly quickly enough between the two houses picking up scraps, disappearing into the nest, and seconds later reappearing for more – before their fellow birds scooped up what was left. It is relentless, all day everyday, back and forth feeding their chicks.
OK so, starlings aren’t ravens but watching them reminded me of these verses, and what I’ve observed over the last couple of weeks is that they don’t sow or reap, they don’t have a storeroom or barn. They simply spend the day looking for food to bring to the nest (and when food appears virtually on their doorstep they make the most of it), they seem to know where food is, they are never away for very long – God is providing for them.
What Jesus is saying is that we are so much more valuable to God than birds, and so if God provides for them surely he will provide for us, so we shouldn’t worry. If we trust God and know that he will provide everything we need, why do we worry? There is no point, we have nothing to gain by worrying.
I know that this is easier said than done, particularly at the moment when life is so uncertain. We don’t know when lockdown will end and when we will be able to be with friends and family again. It is natural to worry about what will happen, what will it be like in the future, or whether there will be a second spike in the virus. But when those worries creep into our minds, we need to remember how valuable we are to God, that he will provide everything we need, that he is with us in all of this uncertainty and that we gain nothing by worrying – not even a longer life. The next verse goes on “Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”. So in this time of uncertainty, can I encourage you, if you are feeling anxious or worried, to pray to God? Give him thanks that you are valuable to him and know that God is with you and will give you what you need.