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Devotional: July 6, 2020

He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.

“Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

Luke 12: 22-28 The Message


Don’t fuss. Don’t worry. Do not be anxious. Here, Jesus encourages us not to focus on how our table is set, or the particular food we have on it, or the clothes we might wear to impress others. No, he is telling us to focus on the important things that matter to Him: the things He has naturally created for us to enjoy.


One of the interesting side effects of the pandemic is that many people have had to stay at home. Some have taken advantage of the time to do home improvement projects. When I do projects, I wear my ratty work clothes. In other words, clothes that I don’t worry about if other people see me in, or get stains or paint or dirt on them. Why? Because I’m not fussing about my appearance. I’m not implying that it’s wrong to look nice. Yet our outward appearance should not be the focus of our lives. This is what Jesus is trying to help us understand. What matters most is what is on the inside.


Another side effect of the pandemic is that more people have been hiking and walking. (It is one of the few behaviors not affected by social distancing!) People used this opportunity to take walks, and hikes in our valley. Many of my friends who have gone hiking in higher elevations have shared their pictures. The spectacular landscapes feature snow-covered mountains, colorful wildflowers, cool mountain streams, and inviting paths. They have discovered what Jesus is encouraging: that drinking in the beauty of God’s creation is always better than focusing upon ourselves!


The truth is that God takes pride in all of us, just the way we are! We don’t need to dress up for Him, or plan the perfect dinner party. Not at all! He wants us to relax and enjoy the simpler and more beautiful things He has created for us, even in our own backyard. It is about God’s love. Relax in knowing that God loves you, and God cares about you. Every single day of your life! Hallelujah!


Prayer


Creator God,

Forgive us for worrying so much about things we shouldn’t obsess over. Help us to trust You, and Your amazing love and care. Remind us to consider the beauty all around us. May we not get caught up in how we measure up to the world’s standards of beauty. Thank you for the seasons, and each new breathtaking view you offer to us. May we be clothed with Your peace, and Your beauty.

We pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Amen.


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