I Know They're Familiar

November 7, 2010
by Lynne Phipps

Matthew 10:29-31 – 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 hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV)

I know that today's verses are probably among the most familiar of all Scripture, yet they never cease to amaze me!

In the past week, we have had three little sparrows smack against one of our large picture windows. The first little one was stunned. I ran and picked him up, keeping him safe from predators ready to spring. After a while, he recovered and gracefully flew from the safety of my palm.

The second one fluttered in an instant from this world back to the hand of his Maker. As I cradled the little body, still warm and soft, I was deeply touched with sadness at the short span of his life and the abruptness by which it ended. He was so lovely, young, and vibrant. I wrapped him carefully and disposed of his lifeless shell with respect, bowing humbly within my spirit to God's design for His world.

The third little fluff-ball smacked less hard, recovered in mid-air, and continued on his way, winging his path to freedom.

These three incidents in as many days reminded me not only of today's touching and familiar verses, but also of how they are a comfort amidst any situation we may be facing, for life inflicts many blows upon us.

  • Some stun us with their violence, sadness, or unexpectedness. Yet God is with us, sheltering us in His love and grace, monitoring our recovery.
  • Others call us or someone we love home to eternity. When the call is instantaneous, those of us left behind usually grapple with shock, grief, confusion, fear, anger, regret, depression, and loneliness. Even if the call allows us time to reflect upon what is fast approaching, we still deal with the same kinds of emotions. Amidst it all, however, these familiar verses continue to remind us that God is not absent. He is well aware of our situation; He is still in control; He still cares deeply.
  • Then there are the moments when it seems disaster has been averted: the car crash avoided by a split second; the slip that resulted only in a bruise and not a break; the hot oil that missed us by a splash. We all experience many of these glancing blows that allow us to recover quickly and flutter back to our normal patterns of daily flight. Perhaps these moments are some of the greatest miracles of all concerning God's loving presence and care that can possibly happen, for according to these familiar verses, they do not go unnoticed. In fact, I believe that such happenings may only be glancing blows, due to His loving and ever-faithful care.

After all, a God who has even the hairs of our heads numbered isn't going to leave anything simply up to fate, is He?

Prayer: Wonderful Lord and loving protector, thank You that throughout this day and every day, You are constantly aware of our lives, all we are, and all that happens around us and to us. Thank You that amidst it all, You are enough to see us through from birth to death and all that lies in between. In Christ's wonderful name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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