May 7

May 7
by Emily Hindenes
Sitting outside on my porch I hear the birds. They chirp, wrestling through the trees as they sway, casting a moving shadow onto the ground. I can hear whispered conversation from the park across the street. I see families, tired, slightly sunburnt, getting into their air conditioned car after a long hike. As I sit outside it hits me, we are in a pandemic.

You would think that thought is constantly running through my mind, but somehow I got sucked into the scene just outside my house. Why is it that my brain can possibly go to such happy observations? Shouldn’t I be panicked about the happenings of the world?

In no way am I saying that I have no fear or I am a courageous human being…sometimes I feel like the cowardly lion, afraid to even step outside. The world right now is in a panic, it is not something we can forget. However, when I was outside this sense of peace came over me and this verse popped into my head, ”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? (Matthew 6:26-27 NIV)”

This was a verse that my 5th grade students were required to memorize in the beginning of this academic school year. Before this pandemic I never gave much thought into this specific writing of Matthew, and now I find myself repeating it almost everyday.

Jesus belittles our worry…in the best way. Such as when a child fears swimming for the first time. We comfort the child and empathize with them, but as an adult we know there is nothing to fear for we have strapped them with floaties, pool noodles, a life vest, and hold them as they venture into the water. We know the outcome. Jesus tells us the same thing, almost making fun of our worry by telling us to be like the birds of the sky, free and frolicking with blind instinct and trust.

The world right now is going through that worry, wanting to give into the panic, fear, and helplessness. We can’t give into that, and if we do how can we refocus on Jesus’ command?

Some tactics can include:

-Taking a deep breath

-Walking outside/Exercise

-Writing down what is worrying you

…and of course, praying. Making your worries known to the Lord. He commands us to cast our fear and worry to him. He doesn’t say, “tell me your worries” or “share your worries” but to “cast them”…to forcefully throw your worries onto Him (Psalms 55). Take comfort in the Lord, step outside, close your eyes, and listen to the birds.

My prayer for you:
Father God, guide me like the birds in the sky.
Give me peace each day, joyous to what the day has to offer.
Help me to cast my worries upon you and leave the burden I face on your shoulders, and help me to see each day through Your eyes.
In Your name,
Amen

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