Anxiety. It’s the most common form of mental illness in our country. A whopping 40 million adults complain of an anxiety disorder of some kind, and sadly, research says that 40% of Americans say they are more anxious today than they were just one year earlier.
What is the source of such stress? Where is all the pressure coming from?
The causes of anxiety might be as varied as the sufferers themselves. Everything from a lack of finances, to problems at work or school, to emotional trauma, to heavy social media use, to controlled substances, and much more have been identified as culprits behind the nation’s mounting anxiety.
An equally important question is, What can be done about it?
Some go to counseling. Some take medication. Others meditate. A few might even make huge lifestyle changes to cope. While each of those can have differing levels of success, Jesus offers a much simpler solution: bird watching.
Yep. Bird watching.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed the reality of anxiety in stark terms and then gave a humble – but serious – solution.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 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?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
“Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus says. They don’t have to plant or harvest…and yet they eat because our heavenly Father provides for them. Then Jesus asks a rhetorical question to each of our hearts: “Are you not of more value than they?”
Of course we are! If God provides for a humble sparrow or finch, will He not also provide for those created in His image?