Consider the Lilies of the Field

Matthew 6:28-30 – And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

2013-12-04 - Consider the Lilies of the Field (IMG_8197)Glacier lilies along the trail to Iceberg Lake. Glacier National Park, Montana.

In yesterday’s post I focused on our need to take our concerns to God in prayer and to seek him through his word. Continuing in the sixth chapter of Matthew for today’s passage, Jesus goes on to tell us why it is we have anxiety in the first place, “O you of little faith.”

Now faith is a gift from God; we cannot will ourselves to have faith, nor can we work harder to earn more faith. As we are reminded in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Even though our faith is not earned, we still have a responsibility to care for this precious gift we have been given through Christ. Without water and sunshine the lilies will not grow, neither will our faith without proper nurturing. One way our faith grows is through diligent study of God’s word. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” So, not only can God relieve our worries through the assurances provided in his word, he also uses it as a means to mature our faith, which is our best armor against anxiety.

Look at how magnificently these glacier lilies proclaim the glory of God. He has provided the rain and sunshine needed for them to blossom. How much more will our faith blossom and glorify him if we avail ourselves regularly of the great gift of his word?

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.

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Look at the Birds of the Air

Matthew 6:25-27 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

2013-12-03 - Look at the Birds of the Air (IMG_4112)A pair of goldfinches (not a reflection) on the thistle feeder in our back yard.

I must admit, as many times as I have read these verses, I struggle to heed the advice Jesus is giving here. I think these words are especially important to reflect on during such a busy time of the year. Between hectic social calendars, year-end pressures at work, and the everyday tasks of life, it is easy to get anxious about it all.

As demanding as things may be, sometimes we need to find time to get away. For me that means getting out into God’s magnificent creation and putting a few miles on my hiking boots. Even pausing a few minutes at the back window to watch the birds on the feeder provides a bit of respite. The peace and quiet of the outdoors help me to set aside my concerns and focus on the two things that matter most in life, God and family.

That said, it is even more important, especially when worries get the better of us, to take the time to bring our concerns to God in prayer and seek him through his word. After all, it is through prayer and his word that we find great reminders, like this passage from Matthew, of our Father’s constant love and daily provision for us, his children, who are more valuable to him than the birds of the air.

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.

Where Your Treasure Is

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

2013-12-02 - Where Your Treasure Is (1-IMG_1394)The long abandoned Theresa Mine rusts away in Victor, Colorado.

At its peak in 1902 the gold mining town of Victor Colorado boasted 17,500 residents.1 By 2012 that number had dropped to 396. Today the dormant, rusting skeletons of many old mines like this one dot the landscape around the town of Victor, now a shadow, one might say ghost, of its former self.

Where are you storing up your treasures?

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.

1 Population for 1902 is according to this mural I photographed on a building in downtown Victor.
2013-12-02 - Where Your Treasure Is (2-IMG_1334)