Your Best Friend
by Pastor George Van Alstine
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his followers not to worry about their daily needs, but to trust in their heavenly Father’s care. God consistently takes care of the plants and animals he has created, and as a higher level being, you can be sure he won’t overlook you:
“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? . . . .
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” (Matthew 7:26, 28)
As a nature lover, I have always appreciated the poetic sentiment of this passage, but I haven’t really taken seriously the affirmation that God actually watches over every bird and every flower. Yet, maybe that’s literally what Jesus means to say! Maybe this great Creator God is that intimately involved in managing hands-on the wonderful existence he has brought into being. Maybe when I’m looking down with wonder at a marching line of ants carrying crumbs back to their colony, God is looking over my shoulder, saying, “See? I taught them how to do that. Or rather, I taught their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers.”
Toward the end of the Old Testament Book of Job, God chides his worldly-wise human challenger:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? . . . .
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements — surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together and all the
heavenly beings shouted for joy?”
This introduction is followed by many poetic illustrations of God’s providence over the natural world he has made. Throughout the next few chapters, the author mentions everything from the formation of clouds to the taming of sea monsters. But to me, this is the most touching description of how lovingly God nurtures his creation:
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?
Can you number the months that they fulfill, and do you know the time when they give birth?
When they crouch to give birth to their offspring, and are delivered of their young?”
It’s almost as if the mother deer has this private whispering conversation with the heavenly Father, talking about morning sickness, how many months to go, what to eat that will help guarantee a healthy birth. The insensitive stag who got her into this — he’s over in another meadow, oblivious to the life changes she’s going through. But God, her Best Friend, is right by her side at every moment.
Jesus said that God wants to be your Best Friend and take care of you that way.