The title of this post has been a saying in our house since the day we got married. It’s a reminder of this passage from Matthew:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? 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? 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. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:25-33
When money gets tight around our house, we just say it out loud- “Birds and flowers. Birds and flowers.” Recently, though, we’ve been saying it for a different reason.
When Liz started teaching, we thought, “That’s a great career. No matter where we ever move- everybody needs teachers, right?” Maybe…
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the economy’s been struggling recently.* Across the country, public education is taking a kick in the teeth. Districts in our area have already been cutting teachers, aides, support staff, etc., and Jasper, where Liz teaches, is looking to do the same. This morning she had to attend a meeting where the news was basically, “If you want to work here next year, write us a letter and let us know. We’ll look over all of them, and some of you will be back.”
There are a couple of things working in our favor. One thing is that Liz has been at Jasper for three years. That’s not an eternity, but around here she’s considered a seasoned veteran. Second, she’s a great teacher. She’s got her stuff together, her class scores are always good, her evaluations are always great. After last year, they asked her to get her GT certification so she could teach those classes. They did that because she’s a really good teacher.
But besides all that, the thing that gives us the most assurance is that passage of scripture. That little saying, “Birds and flowers.” We know that God is going to take care of us. It’s not a guess or a hope, it’s a fact. He feeds the birds, he clothes the flowers, he takes care of his children. He’s done it over and over again for us. The key, though, is verse 33. That’s the one that says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I can’t stress enough- that’s the crux of this truth.
We trust God completely because we have made the decision to live our lives in a way that honors him. We try to be generous to others because God has been generous to us. We love others because God loves us. We give to others because God gives to us. And the return on “seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness” is that “all these things” we need continue to be provided.
*Understatement of the year.