Reading: Luke 12:22-24
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”
If I were to sum up my last five years in one word, it would be “change”. I have lived in four different houses, worked three different jobs, lived on two continents, gotten married, gone to grad school, and had a child. While I tend to embrace change, I would be lying if I said it has been all rainbows and unicorns.
In the midst of life transitions and upheaval, worry constantly robbed me of joy. I started to focus on all the things I didn’t have and all the ways I wasn’t enough. When I gave in to worry, I stopped trusting in God’s goodness and provision.
Our family has started a little practice that helps pave the path to thankful hearts when we worry and have a hard time trusting God.
When we were pregnant with our now six-month old daughter, the transitions in our lives were causing us a lot of worry. Where would we live? Would we have enough financially? Where would we go to church? Who would be our community? In the midst of all these worries, God spoke to us through the scripture (listed above) and we decided to name the baby ‘Raven’ as a sign and a reminder to us to trust Him to provide.
Whenever we start to worry, we spiral out of control for a while, but then we look at Raven and name three things we are thankful for. This simple practice of giving thanks helps us to remember God’s goodness and love.
Even now, at the end of an exhausting day of tummy time, walking the baby as she naps and cleaning food off the floor, I often find it hard to be thankful. But as I begin to pray with Raven, thanking God for creating the park, for giving us toys and for feeding us congee, my heart remembers God’s love and goodness manifested in the smallest details of our lives.
This is the same God who made the heavens, the God who brought his people out of slavery, and the God who led his beloved through the wilderness. Surely he can provide for our financial needs. Surely he can restore our tired souls. Surely he can bring about justice and peace in a topsy-turvy world.
Questions for Reflection
How do your worries hold your heart and mind captive? Let me encourage you to consider the ravens and how God provides for them. Practice giving thanks for the little things, the everyday things, and in so doing, help your heart remember the God who gives good gifts.
Lord Jesus, we are often consumed by our worries and we fail to trust you. Forgive us for our small faith. Lift our eyes to consider the ravens and how you take care of their needs. Help us to give you thanks and to remember your goodness and love. Move us towards seeking your kingdom wherever we are.
About the author:
Elsie recently graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Bath in the U.K. Her research focused on how English language teachers viewed the importance of teaching intercultural skills in their classrooms. Before her studies, she worked on staff with Inter-Varsity Canada for 6 years. She is fascinated by communication and relationships between people of different languages and cultures. A few favourite things include mentoring Asian women, rock climbing with her husband, and a good cup of coffee.