Life is More than Food and Clothing - The Warrior's Journey®

Life is More than Food and Clothing

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“For life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.” (Mark 12:23) 

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s the idea prevailed that the human body was totally inferior to anything modern science could produce.  People’s lives could be extended by getting their old, worn out eyes, hips, and hearts replaced with high-tech artificial ones. The TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman were expressions of this same belief. 

It seemed logical to believe this. If our bodies are the product of a mindless and haphazard process like evolution, then they cannot possibly compete with the products of man’s genius and deliberate efforts. If unguided processes of nature could create all the parts of the human body, then certainly the combined scientific efforts of humanity could produce something far better. The invention of artificial hearts in the 1970s confirmed this belief. 

But that idea came crashing down in the winter of 1982-83, when Barney Clark received the first permanent artificial heart – the Jarvik7.  This artificial heart proved hopelessly incapable of doing the work of real human heart. Barney Clark suffered internal bleeding, infections, kidney failure and faded in and out of consciousness. And for the entire time he remained tethered to a 350-pound power unit that pumped air into his heart to make it beat. Barney endured bouts of confusion and despair and begged doctors to let him die. Mercifully, he lived only 112 days. 

It became clear that the human heart is far more than “just a pump.” It sends and receives signals to and from the brain, as well as all the other organs of the body. It responds instantly to the needs of the body, pumping faster or slower according to the body’s activities. Early recipients of the artificial heart suffered strokes and internal bleeding because this device wasn’t capable of such efficiency. And nearly forty years later we’re still lightyears away from making anything with the human heart’s efficiency and capability. 

The task of keeping us alive is far more complex than simply putting a pump in our chest. And it’s far more involved than simply acquiring food and clothing. In Luke 12:23 Jesus said, “For life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.” God has provided us with this marvelous and incredibly complex machine that we call the human body. He also keeps all its components functioning. God is the One who nurtures all 37.5 trillion cells in our body. He’s the one who created the network of 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries to bring nutrient-rich blood to each individual cell and then remove its waste. God is the One who keeps our hearts beating and our lungs breathing.  We do none of this. We’re not even conscious of it.  

If God takes care of all these tasks for us, then is it likely that He’ll fail to do whatever else is necessary for our survival and success? God has given us the gift of life and the gift of our bodies. But we, with our silly and wasteful worrying turn these blessings into burdens. We act as if it’s all up to us to sustain our lives and bodies. We completely lose sight of God’s relentless and extensive activity on our behalf. 


  • Should we worry over anything if God has already done so much for us? 
  • Have you ever thought about how complex and wonderful God made you? 
  • Stop worrying, start counting your blessings, and faithfully give thanks to God. 

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.