Zev Porat

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Do Not Worry! Matthew 6:25-34

One of my wife's favorite things to do is to go to the beach at sunset and watch the sun go down and the moon rise. Just last week we set aside a night to do just that--thankfully we live close to some of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches in the Panhandle of Florida. As we were watching the sun set and eating our sandwiches, the moon was rising in all its glory. On this particular night the moon was full and it was huge in the sky. One did not need any additional light source to see because the moon was giving enough light to illuminate the beach. We watched as people walked the beach, tried to catch crabs, and just enjoyed the peaceful nature of the environment. There was, however, a man I noticed who was doing something methodical while on the beach. I first noticed him because he was driving an ATV down the beach and parked it about 30 yards behind us. Being the attentive person I am, I watched him as he got off the ATV and began looking on the beach and paying careful attention to a particular spot on the beach. My wife and I continued our conversation and when I refocused on the man I noticed he was laying on the ground and staring intently into one spot. It was in that moment I realized he was observing a nesting site of sea turtle eggs. It's around this time of year that sea turtle eggs hatch and baby turtles make their way to the ocean. This man was on the beach looking to help these turtles as they came out of their shells and made their way to the Gulf of Mexico. This man was looking for any sign that would point to the baby turtles emerging from the sand. However, this was not the only nesting site this man was monitoring. As my wife and I walked up and down the beach we noticed this man as he made his way from nest to nest on his ATV. His concern was evident by his continual monitoring but also by his use of red lights on his ATV and in his flashlight. Apparently, turtles use the light of the moon to help them find the water and this man did not want to distract the turtles with another source of white light. This man took as many steps as possible to ensure care and provision for these baby turtles.

As I watched this scene play out before my eyes I could not help but reflect upon the concern and care God provides for those who are His children. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus told the disciples not to worry about food, drink, and clothing because their Heavenly Father knew their needs and would provide for them. During this passage Jesus used birds to illuminate the point that God provides for the birds but His children are much more valuable than birds. Thus, if God cares for the birds, He will care for His children. Now, of course, God's provision presents itself in various forms; sometimes God provides for His children with clothes closets and soup kitchens, sometimes God provides through jobs, sometimes God provides through others who have been blessed by God, but the point is: God knows our needs--sometimes better than us--and He will provide in His timing and in His will. Now, this does not mean we can be lazy, reckless, and not plan ahead with what God has given us, but it does mean we are free from the oppression of worrying about the cares of tomorrow.

Just as that man on the beach was above those sea turtle eggs and was working in the best interest of those turtles, God is over us and above us and He is working in the best interest of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The responsibility of those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is to obey the principle found in Matthew 6:33. It records, "But seek first [H]is kingdom and [H]is righteousness..." The focus of those who are children of God is to pursue the Kingdom of God and God's righteousness as first importance. Our responsibility is to honor God wherever we find ourselves in life and let God provide for us as he does the birds of the air. Therefore, do not worry about your provision for tomorrow because God knows your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and will provide; rather, focus on pursuing righteousness and holiness in the corrupted world in which we live.

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years.
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.

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