There is a squirrel who must live in one of the trees right outside our apartment. I like to watch him in the morning when I read my Bible. He is spry, playful, energetic and well, squirrelly. Today I spotted him scurrying down a tree trunk with an acorn in his mouth. When he made eye contact with me, he froze, mid-step, acorn in mouth, and flattened his ash-brown body against the trunk. I didn’t want to scare him, so I smiled and walked away.
I have seen him burying acorns many times, and every time I see him, I think about Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:25-26: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (NIV)
The squirrel does store acorns, but how many acorns he stores and then how many he can actually recover are out of his control. I have often seen Mr. Squirrel bury an acorn, return to the same spot moments later, dig furiously and come up empty. Wide eyes blink, jaw stiffens, tail twitches, and he is shocked that the nut is lost.
Even after all of his scurrying, gathering and burying efforts, God is the One to meet his needs.
Mr. Squirrel is a good example of how to live in the tension that we are experiencing. He frantically gathers and stores acorns every day, but at the end of the day, God determines how many acorns he has. I need to do the same. I need to work hard each day to do the things God has given me to do, the work of the gathering and storing. But at the end of the day, I have to rest and trust God, knowing that He is my heavenly Father who provides for His children and who values me even more than the birds of the air and the squirrels of the trees.