Lesson of the Lilies

“Why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.”
—Matthew 6:28

FEAR AND ANXIETY ARE amongst the most serious foes of our human family. They wear upon the brain and they produce nervous exhaustion and are very injurious to health. For those who would seek to walk in the Divine path which God has marked out for the Gospel church, fear and anxiety are special hindrances. The Savior had this in mind when he spoke to his disciples. He would have his followers to be without worry, to be restful of heart. But he would not have them to be without some cares.

There is a care which is entirely proper, even necessary on our part, but not extreme worry or anxious care. The inability to enjoy the blessings of the present moment because of thoughts, or fears, respecting tomorrow should not be the Christian’s experience. The Apostle Paul said, “Be not anxious about anything.” (Phil. 4:6, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) He was not referring to a proper care and sense of responsibility, but to an anxiety which would rob the soul of rest and peace. This would indicate a lack of faith in the Lord and in his care for his people.

In giving a forceful lesson to his disciples on trustfulness in God, the Master used the illustration of the lilies of the field. The lilies of Palestine are quite common, being small flowers, many of them red. They live, and grow, notwithstanding that no special provision is made for their cultivation, and that they are trodden down by those who pass through the fields. Yet they develop and mature and blossom, and have an exquisite organism which microscopic examination shows is very beautiful. Jesus declared that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. There is a perfection in the texture of a flower that is wonderful. The finest clothing cannot approximate the delicate structure of the flower, created by an infinite hand.

The lesson seems to be that although the flowers may live in an unfavorable environment, unable to do for themselves or to take any anxious thought in the matter, nevertheless God’s providence has so arranged for them that they thrive and become very beautiful. These lilies do not look up that they might become great trees, nor that they might climb higher in the world and nearer the sun, as do the vines. On the contrary, they are content with the lot chosen for them by their infinite Creator.—Matt. 6:30

God’s people are to take a lesson from the lilies. They, too, are to be content with the Lord’s arrangement for them, as the poet expresses it, “Content whatever lot I see, since ’tis my God that leadeth me.” In proportion as we approximate this condition, it will give us peace and rest of mind. We are not to worry, and not to be slothful, but are to be diligent—“fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”—doing with our might what our hands find to do. (Rom. 12:11) When doing this, we are to be content and trustful that he will work out all things for our good. He wishes us to learn this important lesson of trust.

Those who neglect to learn this lesson will be unprepared for the great work God has in mind for our future in Messiah’s kingdom. God will not have any in that kingdom, we are sure, who are not full of trust. As the flowers flourish under God’s providential care, so are all of his people to flourish; to grow in knowledge and beauty of spirit, in beauty of character. And this is not accomplished by some great things that they do, but by the spirit in which they meet the little things, the everyday experiences of life. God’s people are to grow steadily, though unobtrusively.

The lily would always have a humble place; it would never be great like the tree. So it is with us here in the flesh. The Lord puts each one in the place he designs for him. We shall learn better the lessons for the future by being placed under humble conditions now, where we may grow, where our entire loyalty to the Father’s will may be fully tested, where all the beauties of our character may be the most fully developed.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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