“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission. Every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31, GW).
God recently called my attention to this passage in an unusual way. I was sitting in my backyard having my prayer time. A sound overhead caught my ear and I looked up. There I saw a bird sitting on a branch, commenting expressively about life. Pausing there only briefly, it soon darted into our property. Its focused destination was a nest that a little bird half its size had built. In its beak, the intruder grabbed a piece of the fiber the nest was made of, and took off. Moments later, it appeared again and repeated this action.
I hadn’t realized it, but there was a baby bird inside that nest. Soon, to our dismay, the tiny thing fell to the ground below. The bigger bird had made a hole sizeable enough for it to fall through. We were not very hopeful of the baby bird’s survival, but wanted to try. We gingerly picked it up with gloves and put it back in the nest. Sadly, the bullying bird kept coming back again and again. Before long, there was no nest left at all, and the baby bird had fallen to the ground again. Its brief life was over. My daughter shed some tears, and we lay the poor creature to rest.
As something I had never observed before, this incident was already attention-grabbing enough. But it became all the more so when I realized that I had just come to this verse in my sequential Bible reading: “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission. Every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31, GW). What I had just witnessed was a living illustration of this teaching I had just read. Jesus really wanted me to get this in my spirit!
Thinking this over, were we sad about the baby bird’s death? Definitely. Was this cruel injustice against a defenseless nestling disturbing? Absolutely. Was my Father sovereign even over this tiny detail of His immense creation? Unquestionably.
Yes. He is sovereign. I know He wants to impart this to your heart today too. Yes, there are things happening in our world today that deeply disturb you and me. Right now, however, our Daddy wants to remind us that none of it could take place without His permission. He is utterly in control of the unfolding of history. Not one happening has taken place outside of His grand design. He had written up all of this in His book before He opened His mouth and said, “Let there be light.” Rest in this reassurance.
John Calvin expressed this same marvelous truth in a striking way:
“When the light of divine providence has once shone upon a godly man, he is then relieved and set free not only from the extreme anxiety and fear that were pressing him before, but from every care … Ignorance of providence is the ultimate misery; the highest blessedness lies in knowing it… It gives incredible freedom from worry about the future.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines providence as: “God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.” Yes!! Our brother John was onto something… something unspeakably vital for our flourishing during such a time of this. The One who created the world and all who are in it… is the One who will carry it forward in perfect sovereignty and mighty love until the Day of His coming. What blessedness is ours when we know this deep in our heart of hearts!
As we continue to observe the unfolding of history (HIS-story), let’s not forget that we are His little ones. That He’s got us. And He’s got the whole world in His hands. Remember this today. You, my dear friend, are worth more than many sparrows.
Has God used nature to speak to you recently? If so, what was His message?