“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” -Luke 12:27 (NASB)
Yes, lilies are very pretty flowers.
But Jesus doesn’t talk about pretty flowers just because they happen to be there. All his stories lead us to a profound truth about the goodness of God.
Here he compares lilies to King Solomon: the wealthiest man in Biblical history, the one who completed the constructions on God’s temple, the king whose wisdom was such that the Queen of Sheba gifted him with enough spices to last Israel quite a while.
This great, wise, filthy rich king, who probably bathed in the spices that Queen Sheba brought, and afterwards put on robes of finest velvet inlaid with gold, cannot even compare to a single flower. The point isn’t that lilies are just that amazing. That beautiful, marvelous, stunning, gorgeous.
It’s that the lilies “neither toil nor spin,” yet they are still able to grow, flourish, and be beautiful.
God’s providence is so clearly set out before us in this passage, that His overwhelming generosity and kindness hits us like a slap in the face. In Matthew 6:25-33, which also describes this same moment, Jesus asks his disciples, “why do you worry?”
Why do you worry, when you can see how well these flowers grow even without working for themselves?
Why worry, when God will allow you to thrive even more than these puny little plants?
“if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” (Matthew 6:30)
Yes, we are of so little faith. Always fretting about those finals to study for, projects to finish, the keys that got misplaced. Worrying about how to make up after the fight with your friend, or when you’ll find the money to pay for Christmas gifts. Daily troubles, weekly chores. Social obligations and job commitments. Too many things in this life weigh down on our foreheads until the stress gets etched into our premature wrinkles.
But no, God calls us to trust in Him, in ALL of these things and more.
The lilies of the field do not worry; they simply do what they have to do – be planted, gather sunlight, and grow. So too, we should remember that God only requires that we be planted with the seeds of His Word, bask in the light of His presence, and grow in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. Even in this, God will be our helper and provider. And everything else? Though they seem pressing and worrisome, though they seem like emergencies, at the end of the day you will still bloom like a flower and God will array your life with bounty you could not have garnered on your own.
Let us live in thankfulness and joy each new day. Celebrate, because God is our ultimate gardener and provider in all things. Rejoice, because He loves us so much more than a single flower in the fields.