Today, I tripped on a laundry basket at 4 a.m. I woke up too late to even bother matching my clothes, and I didn’t get to stop for my morning coffee. Then, after an hour of searching through the library, I couldn’t find what I needed for a project. Through these small troubles, though, I smiled. Today was good, actually.
But then I found out that I owe my university unexpected money.
My attitude shifted rapidly when I received the email about the status of my financial aid. I was mad. No, I was furious. How could something like that have slipped through the cracks for so long? Now I have to suffer for something I didn’t even do!
In the moments after reading the email, I got angry at God. It’s always me, I told Him. Why me, God? What have I done to deserve this? My heart was overwhelmed. What do I do? Am I going to have to transfer out because of this? Will I be punished for not knowing that this was happening? When is this money due? What if I don’t have enough money for groceries next semester? Am I going to have to eat at the MP every day? Why such a miserable tragedy, God?
I called my mom. I texted my friends. I sat dramatically next to the fountain and contemplated my life and the implications of this new expense. I had a meltdown of sorts. But after a while of my thoughts overwhelming me, it became clear that my next step was to settle down and go talk to God.
Conveniently enough, as soon as I hopped onto my bed, Bible in hand, I heard an unmistakable noise…riiiiiip. There went my pants. Like…what? Come on! Why me? Why today? THESE ARE MY FAVORITE PANTS!
Through my grumbling over ripped jeans and my fear about the future, I decided to follow through with my quiet time with God. It was in the first few moments of reading the Scripture that I knew God was trying to get my attention.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Do not be afraid, little flock,” says Jesus.
Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.
God has my finances in the palm of His hand. He has never let me want for food. And He knows that those were my favorite jeans.
After all, He made school possible for me from the start. He got me here, and He’s not failed me yet. I may be in panic mode about the next few months, but God is already there. He provides. In all of my life, He has always provided.
Years ago, I owned a pair of jeans just like the ones I ripped today. They were my favorite jeans. Inevitably, those jeans wore down and had to be thrown out. I was sad. But about a year later, I found another pair in a thrift store. My favorite jeans had returned to me.
If God can give me something so small as my favorite pair of jeans twice in a row, then what makes me think He can’t give me another pair of favorite jeans? Third time’s the charm, after all.
So, today was one of “those” days. I struggled a little bit. I panicked in the face of small adversity. But God quickly put me back on track.
I am part of his little flock. He knows my name. He knows exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. This little flockling has no fear of the future, because I know exactly who holds it.
Take that, today.