I was walking down a familiar path, one that’s become a sacred space for me, a place where I often meet with God in the midst of my questions and concerns. On this day, I entered the trail amidst confusion, seeking clarity and wondering what I was missing. I asked God my questions and then I walked in silence, waiting and listening.
I noticed the tall grass and wildflowers dancing in the breeze around me. I heard the birds singing their beautiful songs. And I was reminded of Jesus’ words to the weary crowds gathered around him on the hillside…
Look to the winged ones who soar on the wind. Do they plant seeds and gather the harvest into a storehouse? No! But your Father from above gives them plenty to eat. Can worry add even one more step to the length of your life’s journey. Why do you trouble yourself with what to wear? Have you seen how the wildflowers grow in the plains and meadows? Do you think they work hard and long to clothe themselves? No! I tell you not even the great chieftain Stands in Peace (Solomon), wearing his finest regalia, was dressed as well as even one of these. – Matthew 6:26-29 (First Nations Version)
I’ve always read this passage with physical needs in mind, but as I read those familiar words on this day, I felt Jesus speaking to my spiritual journey as well.
Sometimes I can get so caught up in trying to find the answers. I want so badly to get it right and so I start grasping for knowledge wherever I can find it. I feel the urgency to figure it out now, and I wonder what will happen if I get it wrong. Will I hurt someone? Will they reject me? Will they lose respect for me? Will I lose their love and my sense of belonging? These are the honest fears beneath the surface.
But I hear Jesus invite me to slow down, to take a breath, to lay down my anxious thoughts and heavy burdens, and to look around at the birds soaring in the air and the wildflowers growing along the path. They do not have to labor or run themselves ragged trying to pursue what they need. They do not try to change themselves or put on an image that is acceptable to others.
The birds simply trust God to lead them to the food and sustenance they require in the present moment. The wildflowers simply root themselves in the good soil and reach out for the sun. They allow God to give them what they need to grow and flourish, and they reveal God’s glory when they live in the fullness of what they were created to be.
Sometimes when we let God lead us toward what we need, we might find ourselves in places we didn’t expect. God might lead us into the wilderness where all that we relied on before seems distant and inaccessible. The wilderness can be such a disorienting place. It can cause us to question and doubt. It often leads us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew. It requires us to learn new ways of living and engaging with God and the world around us.
Yet even in the midst of the disorientation, if we root ourselves in Christ and in his love, if we seek God’s kingdom, we will have what we need. Nothing will be wasted. God will use even our questions, doubts and wrestling to lead us to his truth and light.
So take a breath. Breathe in God’s Spirit. Breathe out your anxious thoughts. Breathe in God’s peace. Breathe out your fear and confusion.
God knows what you need in this moment and the next. He is gentle and patient with us. He is gracious and compassionate. Let him lead you where you need to go. Trust that he won’t leave you behind. And learn to keep pace with him.
If you will make Creator’s good road your first aim, representing his right ways, he will make sure you have all you need for each day. So do not worry about tomorrow’s troubles. It is enough to trust Creator to give you the strength you need to face today. – Matthew 6:33-34 (FNV)
 First Nations Version: an indigenous translation of the New Testament. InterVarsity Press, 2021.