Have you ever heard the saying, “a watched pot never boils”? For some reason, that popped into my head when I was reading this text from Matthew. I think it may have to do with something that Oswald Chambers wrote about this text. He asks us to look at the lilies of the field, the birds flying overhead, the sea, the air, and the sun, moon, and stars – all of this great creation simply is! All of this wonder exists because God spoke it into being and it remains as a beautiful witness to God’s creativity and love.
Too often, Chambers suggests, we try to see how to make things “useful” and “consistent”. We do it with natural resources and we do it with our selves. Instead of allowing God’s design to live in and through us, we look for ways to “improve” the design and make it more consistent and useful. That seems a bit arrogant to me.
Jesus tells us to stop worrying so much about every little detail. He says that God has created everything and that God cares for everything. Do we not realize that God cares for us even more than the flowers and the birds? There is really only one way for us to develop spiritually – it is by concentrating on God, not on the details of things we cannot control. If we focus our lives on being who God intends us to be and doing what God intends us to do, then everything else will take care of itself. In other words, God will take care of us in the same measure that we care about God. Think about that for a minute. God will care for us to the same extent that we care.
We need to pay attention to what is truly important. Chambers says, “Pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.”
If we want to make ourselves useful to God we must first make ourselves right with Jesus; stop worrying and just BE. I think that can be very hard for us. We want to be in control; we want to get things going in “our direction”; we often think that we know better than anybody else, including God, how things should be done. We need to stop trying to redesign God’s plan; we need to quit worrying about being in control of everything; and we need to just BE in God’s will.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.” The challenge for us is to allow ourselves to trust God and live into God’s plan. It means allowing God to lead us through each day, rather than “blindly following our habitual route” (Thank you, Sarah Young). It means that we have to slow down and really pay attention to God; we have to listen for God’s leading instead of making so much noise that we drown God out. I think what it really means is that we must humble ourselves before God and let things boil when it’s time. Stop watching and worrying – just be.
Seeking God’s way,