More Hope for Our Time – Teaching Us How to Live: Stop and Smell the Roses

By: Steve Negley

Posted: September 30, 2020

Category: Daily Devotional

Reflection on Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[b] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[c] and his[d] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

We don’t always do it, but we should from time to time; stopping to smell the roses, that is. We get busy making the money we think we need to buy all the things we think we want. We even fill our days with helping others; others in our own families and strangers we barely know. We become so focused on the business and busyness of life that we rush and worry the moments away. And then, thankfully, we listen for God, and stop, every once in a while, and let things come back into perspective.

One of our Elders was late to a Session meeting, and we all wished we had been late too, as he explained that while driving to the meeting the sun setting over a lake was so stunning that he just had to stop and look for a while.

A rainbow, a sunrise, children playing on a playground, a pile of puppies rumbling and tumbling — those are the things that help us get things back into focus. They remind us of the hope and happiness in life.

Jesus advised his harried followers to “Consider lilies of the field … and to look at the birds of the air.” (Matthew 6:26, 29) This was his recipe for how to overcome the worry and anxiety that often fills our busy lives. “If God provides for them”, Jesus suggested, “we can trust that God will make sure that we get what we really need, even when we take a little breather.” (my paraphrase)

I hope that we’ll all find some flowers, birds, or maybe even a sunset or a thunderstorm to enjoy today, as we join other creatures and take a little rest in God’s gracious sight.


God our Creator, help me to focus on what is truly important each and every day, so that I can practice trusting Your loving care in Christ’s name. Amen.


~ Steve Negley