The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, January 30, 2024, was written by Steve Wakefield of Alabama.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. 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 can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry 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 clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:25-34 NRSV
It was Monday morning, and I was tired and sad. The past few weeks had been busy with work and travel. The anniversary of the death of my soulmate was fast approaching, and I had been thinking about her a lot. I had spent the weekend with my kids, and my heart was breaking for them in the loss of their mother. The Upper Room devotion that morning was about listening to God. As hard as I tried, I could not sit still and listen. I prayed for my kids, got another cup of coffee, and sat down in my living room. As I sat down, a bird perched on my front door rail just outside the living room window. I immediately knew that God was speaking to me even though I was not listening.
Seeing that bird reminded me of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus teaches us about worry. He tells us that God takes care of the birds in the sky and that we are more important than the birds. As I pondered the scripture and its meaning, I began to appreciate some things I had taken for granted. I felt God giving me much-needed inner strength. I appreciated the message God sent to me in a time when I most needed it.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Take a moment to reread Steve's reflection as you ponder the ways God offers you messengers of hope, and moments of encouragement.
Thank you, God, for speaking to us when we most need it. Help us to listen for your voice. Amen.