As we examine our new relationship with God as our Father, we come to a passage in Matthew chapter 6 about the Father’s provision. “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Mt 6:25-26).
Whose “father” are we talking about here who provides for the birds and much more provides for us? Jesus calls God “your heavenly Father”.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?” (Mt 6:27-30).
It is a good question. We know the right answer – that God will do much more for us – because we have read the rest of the story. But think for a minute about Christ’s new followers there in first century Palestine. Jesus almost takes God’s provision for granted, acting like God’s care for the birds, the flowers, and ultimately for us is obvious. But to His listeners, this is new information. They may have been thinking, “I don’t know. Can God be trusted to provide?”
We might be thinking the same thing, “Can God be trusted to provide?” Let’s continue, “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; and your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be provided” (Mt 6:31-33).
Your heavenly Father “knows” what you need. Our assurance in our Father’s provision is not just in His ability to provide, but in His knowledge of what we need as well. Jesus refers to this caring knowledge again in Matthew chapter 10. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Mt 10:29-31).
The Father knows the very number of the hairs on your head. For some of us the counting is getting much easier the older we get. But you see the point. God’s knowledge of even the most mundane pieces of who we are assures us that He knows exactly what we need. And His message to you in these passages is, “Do not be anxious, do not worry; your heavenly Father knows and provides what you need.” Let us practice the habit of laying our anxious thoughts before our fruitful Lord and walking in His provision.