Posted by: kathryngraves | October 12, 2012

The Birds and the Flowers

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27

I don’t consider myself a worry-wort. Just a planner. I do love to plan. I plan my days and years. I plan my future. I plan my children’s futures. I’ve even mapped out an optional course for my grandson’s life. While I recognize that long-range plans can, and often are, changed with delightful results, I don’t do so well with short-term changes. I fare better with some advance warning. No one has ever accused me of being spontaneous.

Planning Can be  a Sin. Don’t get me wrong. I love spontaneous people; I even married one. They bring a fun element to my life that would be missing otherwise. But in general, I prefer to stick with my plans. This, I now recognize, is a form of control. It also leaves God out. That makes it a sin. Ouch!

It is evident I’m not unique in my need to control. Jesus addressed it in His Sermon on the Mount. I think it is a basic human assumption that if we don’t take charge of our futures, all *!@* might break loose. But that is exactly what will happen if we don’t let God take over. Enough with the planning.

Birds and flowers are perfect analogies for how God takes care of us. We should not be surprised, since it was Christ Himself who drew the comparison. A first reading of this passage can leave one with the impression that birds and flowers always have plenty and we can expect the same. Or that birds and flowers don’t spend money, so how could the analogy possibly work?

A closer look at the lives of birds is instructive. I have never seen an emaciated bird lying on the ground, dead from starvation. Birds are resourceful. They fly to new locations as weather patterns dictate. Birds forage for food wherever it might be found. They only eat the type of seeds or berries suitable for their bodies–never poisonous ones. Yes, God provides what they need, but they also work to get it. They eat more some years and less in others as drought or severe weather affect their food supply. They don’t always eat a lot. But they do always eat enough.

Flowers don’t do a thing except grow. It is not what they do, but what they are, that is instructive. While some plants bloom repeatedly throughout a growing season, the individual flowers rarely last more than a few days. It is their state of beauty that we appreciate. They simply are.

God is as interested in who and what we are as He is in what we do. We endure seasons of plenty as well as lean years. But we always have enough provision. Of course, we can squander that provision. But we don’t need to blame God for our behavior.

If we rest in Him, allow Him to make us into a blooming wonder, and are good stewards of His provision, we will know what the birds of the air and flowers of the field know: that we can trust God to make the plans.

To stop planning requires living  “On the Other Side of Comfortable.” Won’t you join me there?

Photo/Bird: Kingfisher Eating Fish by thawats,

Photo/Flowers: Colorful Tulips by Keattikorn,



  1. One of my favorite quotes is that God feeds the birds but he doesn’t throw it in the nest. Thanks for the reminder that I am not the one in control or if I am I shouldn’t be!!

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