Don’t worry about my (our) life, what we eat, what we wear….home, health, employment, education, retirement????? On and on this could go for my (our) everyday life. I find this a hard passage to embrace, as I struggle and worry about all these things and my family’s needs. We all go through different “patches” in our lives where we feel more desperate, more stressed, more worry, and sometimes panic! Sometimes it is health related, death of loved ones, employment, relationships, and the list goes on. (Which ones are yours?)
I don’t think this passage gives us license not to plan, work hard and prepare for the needs of our families and ourselves. It seems to me that Jesus is giving us the gift that God will take care of us. We will have food/drink/clothes. He is giving us peace. The caveat is that we are to strive for his kingdom. And that is the challenge. What does that mean to me? How do I strive for “His” kingdom? This can be taken in so many directions, but in my everyday life, it is sometimes more of a struggle. For me, it is about my intent. My father used to say, “Do it as unto the Lord.” And, that is it for me. If my intent is pure, it is not about recognition, reward, popularity, or that slap on the back. It’s about living, giving, and being open to what God may send my way. I have to admit, there are times I’ve had to say it out loud, that I am doing this for you God. But in my human condition, I realize this is for me…to remind me…not God.
Verse 32! At last! Our real reward is heaven…the kingdom!!!