The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, February 15, 2023, was written by Yessenia Rosalía Acosta de Beard of the Dominican Republic.
25 “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? 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?
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 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? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
For years I lived in a second-floor apartment. When I moved into a house, I began the daily task of sweeping leaves in front of the house and the back patio. It seemed a never-ending task! There were always leaves on the ground the following day. At first I tried shaking the tree limbs to make more leaves drop in hopes that there would be few or no leaves to sweep the next day. But the next day, there were always leaves on the ground.
Much like this task of sweeping up the leaves, when I face difficult tasks or physical challenges, I want to deal with them all at once and free myself of the aggravation and stress. But, like the leaves, no matter how much I want to resolve situations in one fell swoop, each day brings its own set of worries. This reality has led me to depend more on the Lord. Each day leaves will fall, and worries will come. Now, instead of complaining about sweeping up leaves or being consumed with worries, I seek joy in the spiritual practice of discernment, trusting in divine providence to be my guiding light in all circumstances.
Jesus’ assertion for us not to worry and to focus on living in right relationship with God, ends with a truthful and sobering reality: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34 NIV. Yessenia’s reflection reminds us how each day presents us with a laundry list of concerns and worries that seek to occupy our thoughts. If we accept each day’s laundry list of worries, we divert the creative energy and focus we need to be attentive to the voice of God. God knows about all the things that worry us, and God offers us profound peace and blessed assurance to keep our hearts open to be a blessing to others. If we focus on the “what ifs” of the day or become distracted by obstacles, we’ll miss the opportunity to experience the healing presence of God.
Creator God, help us to learn to depend on you each day, knowing that you will guard our going out and coming in. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Yessenia Rosalía Acosta de Beard