Title: Regarding The Sparrows
Date: November 2, 2021
All week long the lyrics to a song by Lauren Dagel kept coming to mind:
Even a sparrow has a place to lay its head
So why would I let worry steal my breath?
And those lyrics led me to Matthew 10:26-31:
So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.
There is so much depth in these few statements from Jesus. It takes on new meaning when reading it in light of the world we live in today. There is seemingly so much to be afraid of and yet Jesus promises all that is done with evil intent will be disclosed. The passage also clearly speaks to what a personal God we serve. If we could grasp this concept alone, and make it our own, it could change many areas of our walk and our perspective here on this earth.
I find interesting the word choices our God made to create His Word, to show us His thoughts about us. Did you know that the sparrow is one of the few birds that is not known for its beautiful colors or sweet songs? Jesus proclaimed it as the least valuable of any bird species. Luke 12:6 says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies, yet not one is forgotten by God?”
After 25 years of being confined to a wheelchair, Joni Eareckson Tada was limited to her bed. Her caring husband hung a birdfeeder outside her window. She went on to tell the story of how she envied the birds’ freedom, but then remembered the passage in Matthew noted above.
She thought to herself, “I could understand Jesus noticing an eagle, but a scrappy sparrow? They’re a dime a dozen; Jesus said so himself. Yet from thousands of bird species, the Lord chose the most insignificant, least noticed, scruffiest bird of all. A pint size thing that even dedicated birdwatchers ignore.” Through that alone the thought calmed her fears. She felt significant and noticed. If the great God of heaven concerned himself with a ragtag little sparrow clinging to the birdfeeder outside her window, he certainly cared for her.
God speaks to each and every one of us so differently. He is such a personal God. For me the most significant aspect of this passage is how lovingly ATTENTIVE our God is! Do we not as human beings desire someone to be attentive to us? Especially when it’s someone we love. It speaks of how important and valued we are to them. It simply shows how much they care. When someone cares about the things you care about, you see this as a loving and genuine character trait. It fills your heart with warmth and a true feeling of worth and value.
However, wonderful that is, it is manifested even more though our sweet heavenly Father. It is the fabric of who God is! He has woven His attentive care through every intricate detail in our lives. Every breath we take gets His undivided attention and care. He is with you…. He is with me…amidst all the turmoil and unrest. He will never leave us with our feathers ruffled. He WILL attend to our every need! Isn’t that comforting?
This kind of loving care is a two-way street. It’s freely given to us, and God uses us to freely give it to someone else. He often brings people into our lives, possibly even a stranger to say what He desires for you to hear in that moment. For He knows exactly what you need. It is a form of His undeniable, attentive devotion and deep love for us!
Many years ago, my dear aunt and godmother passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. She was in her early 50s. She had gone through some turbulent times. I remember as a young woman not knowing how to approach her, much less how to help her. She was such a big part of my life and I loved her very much. I never really knew where she stood in regard to the Lord. She had once attended church when I was young, but was extremely private about anything regarding her walk with God. However, in my heart I believe she knew the Lord. After her passing I was even more convinced.
The Lord had been watching her, and I am completely convinced He knew her extreme pain and he grieved with her in sadness. One day He put it on my heart to write her a letter… not my words…. His words! It was filled with godly eternal hope and the love of a precious heavenly Father. It affirmed that she had not been unnoticed or alone in her grief. After receiving the letter, she hesitantly shared with me how much peace and hope God’s word gave her. (The effects of our Lord’s word on people never ceases to amaze me!) My aunt also expressed her excitement to forward the letter to her sister who lived thousands of miles away. Her sister had been suffering from depression as well.
My beautiful aunt passed away shortly after our conversation. My comfort was that possibly she realized in those last days what an attentive and personal God she had. How desperately He desired to reach out to her. Today she knows firsthand the reality of her worth and His love for her. The eternal Father never took His eyes off her. This is the same Father who never takes His eyes off you! I pray we can all rest in that assurance!
Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. Oh how much more value are you than these birds.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you discern my thoughts from afar. You search my path in my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
When debating the content of our new constitution, eighty-one-year-old Benjamin Franklin said, that based on their prayers during the war with England, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see in this truth; that God governs on the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
Wow I love that, especially with the current climate of our world. It releases us from worry about where we are heading. May we stay encouraged, and next time we see a sparrow perhaps it may be God winking from heaven. And once again we will be reminded how precious we are in His sight, and there is not one thing we need to worry about! So as a sparrow lays down his head….and God sees Him…ponder upon that tonight as you lay down your head. And then rejoice in His goodness and forever LOVE for you! His watchful eye is upon you and upon this entire generation!
Delighting in safe pasture,