July 11, 2021

Faith—How We Look At Things

Matthew 6:25-34

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

—  Matthew 6:33

In the atrium of our church one Sunday, I noticed one of our senior members standing quietly. His face wasn’t happy, but it was welcoming. I understood the look of tiredness and concern he showed. His wife was in a memory-care center. His own health was not robust. And yet he was there, at church among the worshipers.

I reached out to shake his hand and asked, “How are you doing?” His less-than-enthusiastic response: “Okay, I guess.” After a pause he stated bluntly, “I don’t care about anything anymore.” Surprised, I asked, “Nothing?”

He shifted a bit and then said, “There was a time when I liked boats and cars and lots of things. I got excited about them. But they don’t mean anything to me anymore.”

I began to understand. Material things no longer grabbed his attention. Desire for stuff no longer preoccupied him. As his wife lost her ability to relate to others, and as she increasingly depended on others to care for her needs, he had grown to know the wearing and weary­ing effects of caring for her. His perspective on life had changed. Things decreased in importance, and relationships—with God, with family, with church—became his priority. This brother was learning more deeply the meaning of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. His quiet strength was heartwarming.

Lord Jesus, your words are wise and liberating. Thank you for the peace and strength of seeking your kingdom. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Kiekover

Harvey Kiekover grew up on a Michigan farm and studied to go into pastoral ministry. He served as a teacher in Nigeria and as a pastor and chaplain in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his wife became the parents of three sons, and he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren.

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