COVID-19: Remedy For Anxious Hearts

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

PANIC AND PROVISION 


'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:25–33


At the moment, a trip to the supermarket is a strange experience. Empty shelf after empty shelf. Of course, for many people, scarcity is part of everyday life, but for some of us, this is the first time in our lives that we are facing the prospect of bare cupboards. 


Sure, I’ve read Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 before, Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink. I usually translate that into something more relevant. Perhaps I’m worrying about a situation at work or wondering how I will be able to pay off my student loans, but the last few weeks have made Jesus’s original words come to life in a new way. 


As we face empty shelves and toilet paper shortages, Jesus has something to say to us. So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? ... your heavenly Father knows that you need them.


If we think we have to fend for ourselves, of course, we panic. We go beyond sensible stockpiling and begin to overstuff our freezer. We’ve seen just how far panic pushes people. Aggressive, greedy or dishonest panic buying, leaving the vulnerable with nothing. 


Perhaps your own response has been more subtle. You’re wondering whether to cut back on your charitable giving, just in case you need those savings. Whatever financial decisions we make, Christians don’t need to be driven by fear. We have a Heavenly Father who has promised to provide for us. 


This isn’t to say that anxiety is bad, in and of itself. The crisis we’re facing is scary—and it’s normal to be aware of our needs, but Jesus tells us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. That’s where we take our worries—to God. In our panic, we should ask Him to provide—not just food for our cupboards, but also peace for our hearts. 


As Christians, we can afford to behave differently. Each of us needs to think about what seeking God’s kingdom first means. First and foremost, it means we need to keep trusting God, keep obeying His Word, keep praying, keep telling others the good news of the Gospel. 


Today, you will be tempted to worry. Instead, let’s choose to bring our needs before our Heavenly Father. Trust Him. He knows what you need.