During the economic collapse of October 2008, a Stamford, Connecticut, man threatened to blow up a bank. When he lost $500,000 of his $2,000,000 portfolio, he planned to bring a gun into the facility and take the lives of innocent people if necessary. As if a shooting spree would do anything to restore his loss. Fear has never been famous for its logic.
If there were no God, stuff-trusting would be the only appropriate response to an uncertain future. But there is a God. And this God does not want his children to trust money. He responded to the folly of the rich man with a flurry of “Do not worry” appeals. “Do not worry about your life. . . . Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind” (vv. 22, 29).
Don’t follow the path of the wealthy bumpkin who was high on financial cents but impoverished of spiritual sense. Instead, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (v. 32). This is the only occasion when Jesus calls us his “little flock.” The discussion of provision prompts such pastoral concern.
I once rode on horseback with a shepherdess through the Black Mountains of Wales. The green valleys were cotton-puffed with heads of sheep. We came upon one member of the flock that had gotten herself into quite a fix. She was stuck on her back in the rut of a dirt road and couldn’t stand up.
When the shepherdess saw her, she dismounted from her horse, looked at me, and chuckled. “They aren’t the brightest of beasts.” She righted the animal, and off it ran.
We aren’t the brightest of beasts either. Yet we have a shepherd who will get us back on our feet. Like a good shepherd, he will not let us go unclothed or unfed. “I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread” (Ps. 37:25 NLT). What a welcome reminder! When homes foreclose or pensions evaporate, we need a shepherd. In Christ we have one. And his “good pleasure [is] to give you the kingdom.”
Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012).
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