The Trees Trust God
The trees take in the rain,
the mist, the snow, the sun,
each season of its own.
Reaching to the heavens,
looking to the creator for provision.
The trees do not worry.
They do not gather, store, plan.
The trees just be.
Always looking to the sky,
and the great I Am.
The trees trust God.
Learn From Nature How to Trust God
When I look at the trees outside, I marvel at their ability to trust God. They are storehouses of wisdom, growing and existing longer than mortal human life. They spend hundreds of years on the earth. Yet, they don’t spend time in fret and worry, they don’t gather and store, they don’t trample on each other trying to gather the best thing for themselves, the best status. They just trust that the Creator will take care of them.
Jesus said that the Father cares for even the lowly sparrow, therefore, we should not worry because he cares so much more for us. In Matthew 20:29-31, Jesus drove home the point to his disciples. He said that two sparrows sell for only a penny, yet the Father makes sure they are fed and housed. We are worth so much more than a penny to God. Jesus says that the Father even has the very hairs counted on our heads.
We Gather Possessions and We Don’t Trust God
We run around so much, gathering more and more for ourselves. We worry that the Father will not feed us, so we fill our refrigerators, cupboards, freezers, and even cellars with an abundance of food. Meanwhile, the child down the street looks on hungrily, her own cupboards bare. Trust God for food and share with those in need.
We worry that the Father will not clothe us, so we fill our drawers, dressers, walk-in closets, even entire spare rooms, with an abundance of clothes. We make sure that they are of the latest fashion, so others will think well of us. We have so many clothes, that sometimes we even leave some unworn at the back of the closet. Meanwhile, the homeless family packs into the warming shelter, their hole-ridden garments unable to protect them from the wet and the cold. Trust God for clothes and give to those in need.
We worry that the Father will not house us, so we build our own houses, and we add a few thousand extra square feet to hold all of our hordes of stuff. We like to impress our friends with our auspicious dwellings. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world will go to sleep tonight with a dirt floor, at best. Trust God for shelter and work to house the homeless.
Jesus Teaches Us How To Trust God
Oh, how far we have strayed from Jesus’ message. If you look further at this passage, you will find Jesus’ mandate to his disciples. Jesus said to trust God.
Not only did Jesus tell the disciples that the Father would provide, he also told them to live a radical lifestyle by not carrying any money with them on the journey. He told them that they would be persecuted by government and friends. He told them that their own families would turn against them. He told them that the way would be excruciatingly hard, but this is the price of the cross. The reward, though, is everything. The Message Bible paints this passage in the most descriptive light.
Matthew 10 (The Message)
The Twelve Harvest Hands
1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent: Simon (they called him Peter, or “Rock”), Andrew, his brother, James, Zebedee’s son, John, his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, the tax man, James, son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, the Canaanite, Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).
5-8 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
11 “When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.
12-15 “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.
16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.
21-23 “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
24-25 “A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?
26-27 “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.
28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
Forget About Yourself
29-31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
32-33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?
34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.
38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
40-42 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
I challenge you to ponder this passage and see how much your life resembles this. Do you trust God? Are you growing in this trust?
I am learning this on my own journey, too. Trust is a life-long process. Ask Jesus for courage to bear your own cross and live the radical lifestyle as His disciple. The journey is hard, but the reward is pure joy.