• Jill Jarrell Newsome

But's And Therefore's

About 15 years ago, Honey and Pa took Sarah, Ivey and I, with them on a three week trip up north. We got to see lots of history (Dad's thing), the Liberty Bell and the Poconos, New York, the Hamptons, Maine, Cape Cod, Provincetown and Martha's Vineyard. One day Mom and I drover Sarah into New York City for the day while Ivey and Dad stayed behind, hunting bear. (They hunted bear anywhere - it meant they hiked in the woods with backpacks and Dad carried his machete! They hunted bear behind Honey and Pa's house and while hiking Sugar Loaf!) But the high light of that trip - besides the lobster rolls- was whale watching in Provincetown. For me, it was a spiritual experience watching the whales, the size of school buses, come right beside our boat to feed. If my arms were long enough I could have touched them as I leaned over to watch!


As they blew out the bubbles it looked like a chain link fence all the way around them. This kept all of the small krill and other food in so they could eat. Bubble-net feeding is a learned behavior method used by humpback whales. The whales circle a school of fish and use a team effort to disorient and corral the fish into the "fence". The size of the net created can range from three to thirty meters in diameter. One whale will sound a feeding call, and all whales, simultaneously, swim upwards with mouths open to feed on the trapped fish. As the whales swim up to the surface to feed they can hold up to 15,000 gallons of sea water as they strain the water to get the maximum amount of fish they need. And God did this for the whales!


God absolutely cares for His creatures. And He cares so much more for us! During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke outdoors near the Sea of Galilee. He told us in Matthew 6: 26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" He knew we would be worriers! He went on to tell us in verses 31-32, "So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.'"


Jesus wants us to be free from worry. In verses 25-34, He gives us at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety. Before He tells us about the birds, He tells us not to worry about our life, or what we will eat and drink or about our body or what we will wear. Then He reminds us of how much more valuable we are than the birds. He asks us if worry add's a single hour to our life. He asks why we worry about clothes? (This is me when I am packing for a trip!) In verses 28-30, He says, "See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?" Verse 32, "...your heavenly Father knows that you need them." God already knows what we need. And He is able to give us anything - remember nothing is impossible for Him. Luke 1: 37, "For nothing is impossible with God."


But as you know the Scripture did not stop there. We always have to be careful and pay attention when we see, "But"! Verse 33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." God wants to pour blessings on us and rain down gifts on us and into our souls. He wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts. But to do that we need to be in humble obedience and faith. How do we seek God's kingdom on earth? We love God, love our neighbor, love self. We accept that God is Lord, that our neighbors are His children too and that we are loved by God. Doing these things brings peace in our hearts. When we do this we know that our days are in God's hands and we do not have to worry! God does not just want us to seek Him. He tells us in Jeremiah 29: 13-14, "Seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord”. He wants us to seek Him with our WHOLE heart and we will find Him!


God knows everything about us, where we are, today and next year, inside and out. He see's our every need and our every desire. He is eager to meet our needs. Let's remember the "much more" from verse 30. “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?” God feeds billions of birds hourly, around the world. And yet He cares so MUCH MORE about us. When we focus on God and His Kingdom, we are able to take the focus off of our issues. We also have to watch for the "therefores" in the Bible - that means something else is coming. The rest of the story. Verse 34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


"Said the robin to the sparrow, 'I would really like to know

why those anxious human beings rush around and worry so.'

Said the sparrow to the robin, 'Friend, I think that it must be

that they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.'"

Elizabeth Cheney


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