I watch the sparrows from my kitchen window every morning. Often there are other birds like greenfinches, siskin, occasionally a gold finch or a robin and a particular blackbird we call ‘snowflake’, but mainly sparrows. Not so long ago we were being told that sparrows were on the endangered species list - not in our garden. There are dozens of them, all squabbling and fluttering around the feeders, each one striving for its own space. Their one concern seems to be how much seed they can consume in how short a time. Their lives are centred entirely around themselves, what they need and what they want. They have no concept of God, only of self-importance and preservation.
Occasionally I find a dead sparrow lying on the ground under the feeders. Perhaps it fell prey to the sparrowhawk, or some other predator. My immediate reaction is a sense of sympathy and sorrow, “Poor little defenceless bird! It’s only a sparrow and nobody cares, one sparrow out of a countless number worldwide. Does it matter? Who’s interested?” But God knows. Not a single sparrow will fall to the ground without His knowledge (Matthew 10:29). He knows, and He cares.
In God’s eyes we are worth immeasurably more than a sparrow. He knows everything there is to know about us; our lives and our ambitions, our successes and our failures. He even knows how many hairs we have on our head (Matthew 10:30), along with every other intimate detail of our lives. ‘And so we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (1 John 4:16). Love is His very nature. God is love and nothing can detract from this truth. It covers all our faults and failings, all our inadequacies and weaknesses, all our doubts and fears. We can’t escape from it (Psalm 139:7). His love is with us always, ratified by the blood of His Son. ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’ (Isaiah 49:16).
The love of God is unchangeable and eternal. Nothing and no one can take it from us: ‘neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38-39).
So, what can we do with it, this precious gift from God? We have an advantage over the sparrow. We have a choice. It’s a simple choice, but dynamic in its consequences. We can accept the gift or reject it. We can fall for the lie of the evil one who puts these thoughts inside us, “It’s not for me. I’m not good enough. I’ll never be able to live up to its standards”, or we can simply receive the love of God as it is offered and live in it, as He lives in us, and ‘be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’ (Ephesians 3:19).
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the sparrows, and all the other creatures You have provided for my pleasure. It causes me to appreciate all the more how You created us for Your pleasure, and yet how we let You down so often. Please help me to live a life that is pleasing to You, so that Your blessings may overflow and touch the lives of others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.