Gift #1043: Thanksgiving Blessing – Ravens and Lilies

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful day surrounded in love.  For today’s post celebrating Thanksgiving, we are going to spend more time in the gospel of Luke listening to what Jesus says as He encourages us to trust Him for our needs:

 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 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! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:22-32

In this address, Christ uses two examples to show how much care the Father has for His creation and for us too.  What I love about this passage is how closely God is shown to interact with creation.  God does not just set the world in motion and sit back to watch.  He is intimately engaged in every moment.  Notice  God declaring that He personally feeds the ravens.  In another passage of Scripture that I love, the writer describes the animals as receiving their food out of God’s hands.  I think about that when I read these verses.  He is actively engaged in meeting the needs of every aspect of His creation – not even birds are insignificant to Him.   In His second analogy, God is described as dressing or clothing fields with wildflowers.  He says that not even the most regal courts of humanity can compare with the glorious beauty that God pours out on flowers, which are ephemeral.

The implicit implication is that if God devotes so much care and attention in clothing the world with beauty and providing food for all His creatures, won’t He meet our needs too?  Our God is generous and eager to pour out His love and blessings on His creation.  The birds and flowers do not fret about how they will meet their own needs – they are completely dependent on their Creator.   And so are we.  Though we work and can buy food and clothing, those gifts still come from the hand of God and we are dependent on Him to provide for us.  Christ urges us not to set our focus on our material needs, but trust Him to supply those.  Instead we are encouraged to joyfully thank Him for His provision and rejoice in what He provides.

Knowing the character of God allows us to trust Him.  Trusting God frees us from worry and fear.  Freedom gives us the motivation to participate with God in making His kingdom a reality.   We can focus our energy on pursuing God’s rule in our hearts and in the world around us.  We become His agents in sharing His love and grace; and in so doing we reap eternal benefit because our hearts are focused on the One of greatest worth.  We have no cause for worry or fear because we have God Himself and we are heirs to His eternal kingdom.

When I moved from Texas to Colorado as a young teenager I lost nearly everything I knew and loved and it was a devastating time.  I was a long time coming to the point where I loved Colorado and viewed it as my home.   Shortly after we moved there, my mom and I found a cross-stitch shop and that soon became the happiest place of ours to visit.  Rare was the week that did not find us stopping in at least once.  One of the first patterns I bought and stitched from the shop was a poem based off this passage.  It says

See how the lilies flourish white and fair
See how the ravens fed from Heaven are
Then ne’er distrust thy God for cloth and bread
Whilst lilies flourish and ravens fed

It was a beautiful reminder to me that God would take care of me in this strange new place.  He did meet my needs in a way I could never have imagined.  He showed me more of Himself, grew me in His word, opened my heart and mind, and turned a foreign land into a home.   He didn’t just meet my needs, He filled my cup to overflowing.  May you also experience abundant comfort and joy in Him today.

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Blessings to you,

Sarah

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