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"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow."—Matthew 6:28 .

FEAR and anxiety are amongst the most serious foes of our human family. They wear upon the gray matter of the brain; 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 fact in mind when he spoke thus to His disciples. He would have His followers to be without worry, to be restful of heart. But He would not have them be without carefulness. There is a carefulness which is entirely proper, yea, necessary, on our part, but not this extreme worry—this inability to enjoy the blessings of the present moment because of thoughts, fears, respecting tomorrow. When the Apostle said (Philippians 4:6), "Be careful for nothing," 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, and which would indicate a lack of faith in the Lord [R5875 : page 94] and in His care for His people. The word rendered "careful" here is from a Greek word meaning over anxious.

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—rather a small flower, many of them red. They persist, live, 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 be 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 did not look up and wish that they might become great trees, nor wish that they might climb up higher in the world and nearer the sun, as do the vines. On the contrary, they were content with the lot chosen for them by their Infinite Creator.—Matthew 6:30.


And so 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. 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 under 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 every day 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 a tree. So it is with us here in the flesh. And 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.


John 18:11; Psalm 116:13.
The Cup my Father pours
Shall I not drink?
And precious, holy thoughts
Shall I not think?
And if His Love doth send
Less joy than pain,
And if all friends forsake,
Shall I complain?
If foes misrepresent
And work me woes,
Shall I not rest content
Since Father knows?
If where once friend I had
I Judas find,
Still Jesus holds me in
His love entwined.
He knew the love and loss
Of faithless friend;
He'll know each step I take
Unto the end.
His love enfolds me fast—
I cannot fall.
The Cup my Father pours—
I'll drink it all.
Hattie O. Henderson.