Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Anywhere With Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 12:7b – Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV)
Have you ever peeked into a bird's nest to see newly hatched, tiny baby birds? They are so very small and fragile, and so dependent on their parents for protection and nourishment. The parents defend the nest and expend themselves to find food and to deliver it directly into the open mouths of the baby birds. This is intensive care.
Recently, my niece gave birth to a premature baby boy, at 24 weeks and 5 days, who has been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit since birth. The awareness and growing concerns about his fragile state can be overwhelming and exhausting. I can only imagine this tiny boy in his enclosed "nest". Thankfully, the dedication of the NICU staff and doctors and the modern equipment for caring for preemies give parents support and assurance that all is being done. But nothing compares to the deep love and concern of the parents as they make their presence to be sensed by him. This little one can hear their voices and feel their heart beats.
A hymn written in 1855 in Stockholm, Sweden, reminds us of the care that our heavenly Father gives to His children, and even the "bird in home-nest hiding":
- Children of the heav'nly Father
safely in his bosom gather;
nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e'er was given.
God his own doth tend and nourish,
in his holy courts they flourish;
from all evil things he spares them,
in his mighty arms he bears them.
Neither life nor death shall ever
from the Lord his children sever;
unto them his grace he showeth,
and their sorrows all he knoweth.
Praise the Lord in joyful numbers,
your Protector never slumbers;
at the will of your Defender
ev'ry foeman must surrender.
Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne'er forsaketh;
his the loving purpose solely
to preserve them pure and holy.
More secure is no one ever
than the loved ones of the Savior;
not yon star on high abiding
nor the bird in home-nest hiding.
– Lina Sandell Berg, 1855; translated by Ernst W. Olson, 1925
In nature, God has given us a picture of how He loves and cares for us. In our vulnerable and fragile lives, it is our loving heavenly Father Who watches over us and protects and provides for our needs. We may be unaware of all the ways that He is with us, but we have no cause for worry or fear. God will take care of us. May we grow strong in our trust of Him as we nourish ourselves with His holy Word.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, Your deep love for Your creation and created ones is wondrous to consider. Forgive us for forgetting to trust You as our loving Father. Help us to rest in the truth of Your unending concern for us and our children. Help us to recognize Your presence and to hear Your voice as You come to care for us. Amen.
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Thanks for the encouraging words, Sharon.
Thank you, Sharon, for this lovely reminder of God’s care for us.
Well done! This hymn is possibly the most comforting and assuring of any that I know. What a great application.
As the rains borne by hurricane Fred drench us, we thank you for this encouraging reminder that God is always with us caring for us all. Blessings.
Thank you for the images you painted about God’s care. Very comforting. Blessings to your day.
Thank you for sharing and I pray your niece and her son are doing well and he is improving with each day. God bless!!!
I will keep this on my computer and read it each morning. I am in the early stages of dementia and some days I am feeling very sorry for myself and frightened. My faith in God is SO meaningful to me yet some days I don’t understand. Thank you, Sharon, for this message.
Lovely images, Sharon. It seems I have sung this song pretty near all my life! Thanks for the reminder.
Your words: ”In nature, God has given us a picture of how He loves and cares for us. In our vulnerable and fragile lives, it is our loving heavenly Father Who watches over us and protects and provides for our needs. We may be unaware of all the ways that He is with us, but we have no cause for worry or fear. God will take care of us. May we grow strong in our trust of Him as we nourish ourselves with His holy Word.” — so true.
Thank you for sharing your story. I pray in Jesus’ name that this little life be cradled in His arms and strengthened each day. May the parents stay strong in faith and have hope. Where there is life, there is hope.
God’s grace be with you.