May 10, 2010

Worth it!

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? -Matthew 6:26

Earlier today, we wrote thank you notes to our daughters' teachers. We made cards that said they were worth 100 Grand, using the mini 100 Grand candy bars to make the point. (Julia said that she has one teacher with my humor. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not, but she meant it as encouragement.) This has been a special school year for our first grader and our sixth grader. We want to show their teachers how grateful we are. We trust them with our most precious girls, because we know that the girls are treasured by the faculty.

I am watching Matthew 6:26 happening in my backyard right now. Three birds and a large rabbit are feasting in our grass. The big brown bunny is feasting ON grass, and we all noticed that he has not missed any meals lately. The majestic cardinal and his two orange-beaked buddies apparently found a family of delicious insects for their dinner. My bird feeder needs to be refilled, so they were on their own tonight. Well, not really.

We watch through the window, hoping to not disturb the animals. Will, our 3 year old whose only volume of late is quite loud, would have surely scared them away before we could open the back door. In my head, I hear the Word. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." I always thought of this as a passage about priorities, but as I re-read it tonight, I see that it is also about trust based on value.

Trusting God is not simple for us, even though the Father wants it to be. We struggle with the worries of this life, and we are working on the schedules and the details of our stress inducers. Along with that, many of us also feel insecure about our value. Some days, we feel like more trouble than we are worth. We are in more trouble and debt than we can escape. Are we an asset to our families? Are we valuable to God?

Most Christians would argue that God is reliable and good and trustworthy. He's God. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 : now that's a verse I can quote. But what about Matthew 6:26. "Are you not much more valuable than the birds?" Which issue should we tackle today? Our trust problem, our worries, or our value? Are we worth it?

So what is the connection here? Can we work on one area and receive a breakthrough in two others? I believe we will receive a double blessing here. If the worries of life are keeping us from trusting God, then we can start with soaking in how much we matter to God. We are a treasure to Him. We were worth the price Jesus paid for us. Jesus asked that rhetorical question about us and the birds. He not only taught us about our value, as recorded in Matthew 6. He showed us what we mean to Him. He gave up His own life, because we were worth it.

Jesus explained the connection between our worth and our trust in the Father. Because we are valuable to the Father, we can trust Him to be good to us. We take care of the things that we value. We thank teachers; we mop the floors- eventually. We have children; we protect and provide for them. God made the birds; He feeds the birds. God made the lilies; He makes them bloom. God made us; He takes care of us. Jesus called us "more valuable" than His other creation.

Please don't let this be an oversimplified, "it will all work out" pep talk from me. This post is just a clue that maybe our trust problem is really a "value" problem. Spend some time in Matthew 6 and soak in a pep talk from Jesus himself.