“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. 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)
It so happens that the weekly prayer that is said at the end of every prayer in The Divine Hours this week says:
Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you who cares for us: Preserve me from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from me the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I will admit that worry isn't much of an issue for me right now. It has been clear that God is providing for us. So I think God has been saying other things in this "theme week." Like how there are times, when I look at the future anxiously. I'm not sure what's next for my life. I don't know what God will put before me next after I'm done being a stay-at-home dad. And I want to know; I want to have that mapped out. I want to have a clear calling for the next phase in life and vocation. But I'm not sure what's next. So I find myself being anxious at times.
And maybe apart from worrying, I spend too much energy in chasing worldly things that don't have lasting significance and instead distract my attention from God. Sometimes I forget to give thanks for all He has provided, instead taking it for granted that it will be there--or worse, finding a small way to credit myself.
Sometimes we need the comforting assurance that "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." We need the reminder of the promise of His provision. And sometimes knowing "He watches me" is simply the reminder that I'm valuable in God's eyes. No matter what I do along the way, no matter how much I mess up at times, no matter how off my desires or focus can get--He loves me. And that won't change. That's not just the theme of a week, but of life--mine and yours.