If you have a chance, read something from Matthew 5-7. I loved reading these chapters last week. I was reading the Sermon on the Mount for New Testament class this weekend. I’ve read some of those verses so many times but it was a really interesting read for me this time and I think I learned some important lessons from it. I know everyone knows the phrase “consider the lilies of the field” and I’ve always thought it referred to how beautiful they are and how they are beautiful because God made them. But while I was reading the surrounding verses and applying it to myself, it had even more meaning to me. Jesus told the people to consider the fowls of the air and how helpless they are. They don’t sow, they don’t reap . . . and yet Heavenly Father feeds them. I think it’s a really good lesson for me because I feel like I need to do so much on my own. And while it is a good thing to be self-motivated and to work hard, it is important to let God take some of the burden-if we put our trust in Him and have faith, He is able to help and bless us even more than we can help ourselves. And Jesus talks about how beautiful the lilies of the field are, how they grow without toiling and without spinning (without making themselves beautiful). They are beautiful because God created them so. And then Jesus asks if God would clothe the lilies and feed the birds, then how much more will he provide for us if we have faith? I’ve never read this verse this way before-it’s saying we must have faith that God will feed and take care of us the way he takes care of all living things. It is not just about how God cares for his creations, but more specifically about how He knows and cares for us. It is especially powerful to think that it was Jesus (who talked with God and knew Him so well) who said these words and who was so aware of God’s love for us.
Then Jesus gives the real message: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” So if we are always putting God’s kingdom first in our lives, He will bless us with those things we need. I know that this is a really good lesson for me–I’m never satisfied with what I’m doing and I always feel like I should be doing more (whether it’s related to how I do on a test or how I’m doing in competitions or how I’m doing in my relationships or how I’m doing in other things). But it was a really good reminder for me that putting righteousness first is what really matters. And Heavenly Father promises us that he will take care of my needs as long as I am doing just that. It is more important to have faith in Heavenly Father and to ask Him for guidance than it is to work hard without Him. It’s a weird concept for me because I feel like I have so much that I am capable of doing on my own, but, really, my real growth as a person happens when I leave things up to faith. This year I feel like my faith has been stretched a little . . . and has been strengthened in the process. I have felt God helping me along when I’ve ask Him to; and it is so amazing to see little miracles happening in my life.
I hope everyone has a great week and that you consider the lilies and how we can become beautiful as lilies in God’s hands 🙂