From one quick internet search, I discovered there are at least twenty different types of lilies. Once I began looking at these beautiful flowers, I couldn't stop. They vary from bright yellow and deep orange and most of us are familiar with the delicate white lily found at many weddings. Elegant, beautiful, and diverse, lilies are a fascinating picture of God's creativity. Perhaps God knew that the average eye would look upon a lily and scarcely deny it's beauty, almost regal.
In Matthew 6, we get a glimpse of how God viewed the lilies, but most important, we get a get a picture of how greatly our God cares for us.
"Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is gone, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious saying, What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
There have been few days that I can remember not being worried or anxious about something at some point. Most of my anxiety stems from an unrealistic "to-do" list. Trying to remember dates, times, deadlines and even simple things like getting gas, if all piled up at once, can prove to be overwhelming. But it's when my family was faced with financial struggles where the Lord most taught me to trust him.
In Matthew 6:19-24, the Lord warms us to lay up treasures in Heaven and not on this earth. The earth will go away, but heaven will endure forever. God knows we value our stuff - our possessions are quite meaningful to us. After reminding us of our true home, we are then told not to be anxious. But we aren't simply told "do not be anxious." The Lord kindly goes on to explain that we are of more value than all the rest of his creation. God created the animals and plants and then he created human beings and what does he do? God gave us dominion over it all (Genesis 1:28). If God would be so lavish in his care at the beginning of creation, surely He would continue with this provision throughout all of eternity.
And he does. He remind us that these lilies that I couldn't keep my eyes off of don't do anything to care for themselves, and yet they are more well clothed than the rich, King Solomon.
God doesn't promise us riches, but He does promise He will provide and care for us. Perhaps the most tangible evidence of this care is through His Son Jesus. Jesus was the ultimate provision. He died a death we should have died, and bore wrath we should have bore. He was the perfect substitute and sacrifice for our sin. And now, if we believe, we are clothes in righteousness. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Are you anxious? If so, I relate. God has provided us with all we need, and will never forsake us. Our worry won't add a day to our lives. God is calling us to rest in His loving arms. He may not answer your prayer the way you think (i.e. - with riches), but he will provide you with what you need. You are of more importance than the lilies with all their beauty and majesty. He provides for them, surely He will care for us who He has also created and died for. Let's cast all our burdens and worries on Him who is faithful.
Trillia Newbell is the author of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God's Vision for Diversity. She is the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. She is married to her best friend, Thern, and they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. More at TrilliaNewbell.com, and follower her on twitter @trillianewbell