Missing the Obvious

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We can sometimes be so intent on finding significance in a Bible passage that we unconsciously overlook an obvious lesson. A case in point can be found in Jesus' teaching on God's provision of food and shelter for the birds:

See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they?

Matthew 6:26

We often will come from this passage with an assurance of God's concern for our wellbeing. While this is legitimate conclusion it fails to connect God's provision of food for the birds with the observation that the birds themselves are actively involved in the process. We can read this verse and be rightly impressed with God's care for us yet fail to make the connection between the passage and the world it takes its example from, subsequently we make an incomplete interpretation and never come to the realization (from this passage anyway) that we carry a responsibility of care for ourselves as well and must often work hard to receive what God has given us, as do the birds work hard for what God has given them.