The ESV calls it “being anxious”. Other translations say “worry”. The old KJV says something more generic, and maybe more truthful – “taking thought”.
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Who, by just THINKING about something can make anything happen? Can you make your hair grow longer if you concentrate really hard? No, it just grows. Can you attract success with the right attitude, ala Oprah and “The Secret”? Nonsense. We cannot make reality ex nihilo like our creator, or make our thoughts take shape before our eyes like a magician channeling manna. We only affect via a medium. We must work with our own hands and lips and that’s about all. We have so little – so much of what we have must just be a gift. Let us show gratitude for that.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Glory is an interesting idea, especially in scripture. Man, mankind, is the glory of God, and the woman is the glory, crown, of man. (1 Corinthians 11:7). Not just our clothes, like the glory of the lilies.
This passage about not worrying is nearly always phrased with regards to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Trust God to take care of your food and shelter. He doesn’t promise much more than that and even that can be a bit dicey if a trial is at hand. Remember though this is Jesus himself talking here, not an interpreter. I think he must mean more than just basic economics and survival.
Extend the words just a bit. If the glory of a husband is his wife, then in a sense Solomon was arrayed in glory with all his wives, not just his gold and nice kingly clothes. In the same way, who, by “taking thought” can change anything about his wife or comfort her, or change anything about his kids or really protect them? But God knows we lonely, creative, social humans need these things too – just like bread and water. And he promises to take care of these too. And then, when he does, whaddayaknow, it’s another gift, just like what the splendor the lilies of the field were arrayed in.