“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”. Matthew 6:25 & 26
In the above passage, Christ reproves that excessive anxiety about food and clothing with which men torment themselves, and at the same time applies a remedy for curing this disease. When he forbids them to be anxious, this is not to be taken literally, as if he intended to take away from his people all care. We know that men are born on the condition of having some care, and, indeed, this is not the least portion of the miseries which the Lord has laid upon us as a punishment in order to humble us. But immoderate care is condemned for two reasons. First, in so doing, men tease and vex themselves to no purpose by carrying their anxiety farther than is proper. Second, they claim more for themselves than they have a right to do, and place such a reliance on their own industry that they neglect to call upon God. We ought to remember this promise: Though unbelievers shall “rise up early and sit up late and eat the bread of sorrows,” yet believers will obtain, through the kindness of God, “rest and sleep” (Psalm 127:2). Though the children of God are not free from toil and anxiety, yet, properly speaking, we do not say that they are anxious about life, because, through their reliance on the providence of God, they enjoy calm repose.
Hence it is easy to learn how far we ought to be anxious about food. Each of us ought to labor as far as his calling requires and the Lord commands. And each of us ought to be led by his own needs to call upon God. Such anxiety holds an intermediate place between indolent carelessness and the unnecessary torments by which unbelievers kill themselves. But if we give proper attention to the words of Christ, we shall find that he does not forbid every kind of care, but only what arises from distrust. Be not anxious about what you shall eat or what you shall drink. That belongs to those who tremble for fear of poverty or hunger, as if they were to be in need of food every moment.
Is not the life of more value than food? He argues from the greater to the less. He had forbidden them to be excessively anxious about the way in which life might be supported, and he now assigns the reason. The Lord, who has given life itself, will not suffer us to lack what is necessary for its support. And certainly we do no small dishonor to God when we fail to trust that he will give us necessary food or clothing, as if he had thrown us on the earth at random. He who is fully convinced that the Author of our life has an intimate knowledge of our condition, will entertain no doubt that he will make abundant provision for our needs. Whenever we are seized by any fear or anxiety about food, let us remember that God will take care of the life which he gave us. – John Calvin