Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
Jesus said, “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:24-26)
In my former neck of the woods in California, ravens are commonly found in flocks everywhere as they are in every nation of the world. I got the chance to really observe the eating habits of these winged scavengers when I was assigned to supervise a land-clearing project of a 120-acre orange grove nearby.
Every morning, as sure as the sun was up, I’d see numerous flocks of ravens circle a clearing in the orange grove and help themselves to the fallen and rotten fruit. It’s no wonder that these scavenger birds were considered unclean in biblical times. They were definitely not picky eaters as they rummaged through the scattered oranges.
I have seen ravens devour the carcass of a dead rabbit or pick at the smelly garbage from an open trashcan. Far be it from them to possess the prudence of a farmer who knows that he has to sow seeds in order to reap a harvest. Neither are they in the habit of storing their food or saving it for a rainy day. Even if ravens are insolent rather than industrious birds, God still feeds them on a daily basis.
Considering these birds has caused me to consider myself in light of God’s provision. I could see that human beings made in the image of God are far more valuable than a flock of these winged freeloaders.
Here’s a question. If these birds don’t worry, why should we? They may be carefree to feed on that which is spoiled, rotten, or dead, while we are cared for and personally provided for by our Heavenly Father with organic farm-fresh delicious life-giving food.
In truth, worry shortens life and drains out what’s left of it. There’s the story of a woman who worried for forty years that she would die of cancer. She finally died of pneumonia at the age of seventy. She wasted thirty-three years of her life worrying about the wrong thing.
I know of a wealthy woman who wanted to extend the years of her life. She went to a world-renown clinic in Switzerland that promised a fountain of youth that would prolong human life. They injected her with an expensive dosage of sheep plasma. I got the chance to ask her, “How do you feel after receiving your life-extending shot?” She bleated, “I’m o-o-o-k-a-a-a-y.”
She lived to celebrate her 100th birthday with her family and friends. Yet although her body was healthy, her mind had deteriorated. Her physical condition had regressed and she had become like a child that needed constant care once again. The promised fountain of youth may have added years to her life, but not the “quality of life” she sought after. She died at 101.
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. She and her family had become very active in the Dutch underground, hiding Jewish refugees in their home and helping them escape the Nazi holocaust. The family’s work in saving Jews was motivated by their staunch Christian belief.
In 1977, Corrie ten Boom, then 85 years old, moved to the United States and settled in California. Pastor Chuck Swindoll shared that Corrie spent the last two years of her life in their congregation. It was a wonderful experience for his church to have this godly woman in their midst during that extended period of time as they literally watched her die.
On one occasion she said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength.”
Our LifeGroup Prayer
Heavenly Father, as we consider how you feed the worry-free ravens daily without fail, you have given us a greater understanding of how valuable we are under your sovereign sight.
Forgive us for worrying about anything and everything as we behave like abandoned orphans. Teach us to trust and depend upon you as our loving Father who does not fail to provide us for our daily needs.
As precious human beings, created in your image, use our lives to make you known in a world that is burdened with worry and stressed with strife. Thank you for meeting our needs and fortifying our faith in you. Amen.