Worried Birds

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” -Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

Christians are perhaps the most worried of sorts. Ironic is it not? The very people who serve a God who promises to protect and provide for them even more than His loving care for the sparrow, are the most notorious for being anxious and troubled. Whenever trials come, the first response always seems to be “why?” Why did God allow this to happen? Why doesn’t God provide for us now? Despair is a natural human response, and because we can never look above our circumstances and see the whole plan God has set for our lives, we often react to our present reality. God understands our short-sightedness and allows us to despair. Psalm 88 is prime evidence of that fact. It is perfectly understandable when troubles come to grieve, wail, and mourn for in reality, keeping a stiff upper lip is often hard to do.

At the same time however, Christians should take comfort in the fact that God never forsakes His people, and always has a beautiful plan for their lives. Although we can never see the whole plan, we can see bits of it in retrospect. God’s faithfulness to His followers is often understood by His followers after the trial has passed. Suffering produces strength and faith in the believer. Should a believer hold the hand of God and trust Him in his present situation, not only would he have the strength to face greater challenges, but his faith in God’s faithfulness will be strengthened simultaneously. Despair has its place no doubt, but clinging onto despair will only further entrench a person into helplessness and misery. Christ came to set humanity free from a lot of things. One of these things was worry. As long as the believer continues to place his trust and obedience in Christ, he can rest and find solace in his Savior’s promises never to abandon and never to forsake, that the torturous night eventually gives way to the glorious day.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

An Undisturbed Peace

“And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” -2 Kings 6:17 (NIV)

The king of Israel was at war with the king of Aram. As the conflict between them raged on, news reached the king of Aram that the prophet Elisha was giving away their positions to the king of Israel. Naturally the king of Aram was not amused and ordered his army to encircle the city of Dothan where Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s servant awoke that morning, he was horrified. Surrounded by soldiers on every side he felt that the hour of their death had come. Terrified he asked Elisha what they should do. Yet in stark contrast to his servant, Elisha remained calm and composed. He knew that victory would be theirs. Wanting to put his servant’s mind at ease, Elisha prayed that God would allow his servant to see what he sees. What the eyes of his servant saw was the army of God ready to overwhelm their enemies. Striking the soldiers with blindness they became disoriented and God delivered the army of Aram into the hands of the king of Israel.

When we find ourselves in unpleasant situations, what is our first reaction? Most of us would react in a manner similar to Elisha’s servant. Worried and afraid we look at the bleakness of our circumstances and ask ourselves how we will ever get through this in one piece. In these moments we wonder where God is. But the truth is that He is there with us in every situation. He has promised to never leave nor forsake those who call upon His name, and to stand by those who acknowledge Him with their hearts. The question is do we see Him? Are our eyes opened to His constant presence and loving hand in our lives? That was why Elisha was able to remain in undisturbed calm and confidence despite the seemingly hopeless situation around him. His eyes were opened to the reality that God was in their midst, and with Him as their defender, their deliverance is assured. Are we looking for peace? That unshakable peace which will never depart from us even in the midst of trying circumstances? When we allow the Spirit of Christ to reside in our hearts He will open our eyes to His omnipresence and faithfulness. We will find hope and serenity knowing that we are in His hands and that He works all things together for His good and perfect will for our lives.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Small In Our Eyes, Big In His

“Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” –Luke 12:7b (NIV)

By their own merits sparrows are actually quite insignificant. They cannot boast of the size and strength of a mighty eagle for example because they are small and weak by comparison. Neither can the sparrow boast of being symbols of power and prestige because unlike the eagle, sparrows do not adorn the flags and emblems of nations. A sparrow can not even take pride in its own rarity because they are so numerous and common, and can be found in many parts of world.  Yet despite these qualities that the sparrow seemingly has going against it, God still loves and cares for them. Being His precious creations He sustains and provides for each and every one them; His eyes never leaving them for a moment in His unfailing love.

Sometimes we may feel like sparrows. Comparing ourselves to those who seem to have it all in terms of wealth and reputation, it is human tendency to become insecure. Seeing ourselves as begin merely ordinary and insignificant, we wonder if anyone cares about our joys and struggles. We long to be noticed and loved, and when we do not feel these things, loneliness and misery are the result. But the truth is no matter how small or inconsequential we feel, we are loved by the Creator of the Universe himself. We are not only God’s creations, but bearers of His image like how a child bears the imprints of his parents.  In the eyes of Christ we are worth far more than anything we can imagine and He wants to be in relationship with us so that He will fulfil the great plans He has in store for us. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts and redeem us from our sinful nature which separated us from Him, we will know what it means to rest in His love as we submit ourselves to Him. In doing this Christ will prove His love to us as He takes our lives and transforms them into testaments to His faithfulness; showing the world that no one is insignificant to Him and drawing others into the hope which only comes from knowing Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.