Birds of the Air - Part 1
Last year, during a brief stay in Vancouver, my wife and I enjoyed a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. At one point as we crossed over the Capilano river 230 feet below, we were thrilled to look down and see eagles perched in the trees, launching themselves into majestic flight, much to the delight of the watching tourists, who clambered to take photos.
Those huge birds made a lasting impression on me, after all we don’t get to see anything quite like them where I live. In fact, so great was the impression they made, that I don’t recall seeing any other species during my visit. I know there were many other birds there. I recall the great sense of peace on the stretch of the bridge that constitutes a forest walk through the marvelous trees and the wonderful sound of birdsong as we did so. But, if you ask me what birds we saw, I guarantee that my answer, given with some awe, will be… eagles.
Actually, as I write and rack my brain to remember, there were owls being displayed by a handler also, and I am sure there were several little wild birds flitting about too, sparrows… hopping around under the tables in the outdoor café area, or a robin perhaps perched on the back of a vacant park bench. But then, nobody rushed to photograph those common little birds and I guarantee that if I was to say that I went all the way to Vancouver, visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and all I saw were sparrows, you would find this quite underwhelming.
We may not esteem the tiny sparrow, however God most certainly does, and Jesus used it to illustrate our heavenly Father’s watchful care for us.
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Isn’t it amazing… that the Sovereign God, the Ancient of Days, who has ever been, the One who created the heavens and the earth and every living thing within it, cares so very deeply about you and your well being that He is aware of all your needs and provides for you, and them.
I know at times it may feel as we’ve been overlooked or forgotten, that God must have His attention elsewhere, that perhaps He somehow missed the problem that besets us, or is too preoccupied to resolve it as quickly as we would like… but that just isn’t the case. God is omnipotent (that’s all powerful), omniscient (that’s all knowing) and omnipresent (that’s ever present, everywhere, all the time), and nothing is too difficult for Him. God really does care. He sees and He knows, and He is busy working all things together for good to those who love Him. It is just that all too often we are looking in all the wrong places for our answers. But God most certainly is our sufficiency.
Birds are frequently used in the Bible to teach important spiritual lessons. It was when teaching us not to worry, when explaining that God feeds the birds of the air that Jesus went on to say concerning our needs…
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
It was when writing of the safety of abiding in the presence of God the Psalmist wrote…
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty… He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
And when comforting His people that God spoke through Isaiah to say…
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
Do you see? In every circumstance and situation, God is our sufficiency. He is the answer to our need. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteous, dwell in the secret place of the Most High, wait upon the Lord… these are the keys to having our needs met, finding safety and comfort and renewing our strength.
This message may seem awfully simple to you today, the sort of thing you may have heard many times before. But has there ever been another time since the war, when so many are facing financial ruin? And where shall they turn, if not to the all sufficient God who is the source of all good things. And who will know how to help them if we are not reminded of the teachings of Jesus in such matters and the truth of Scripture.
It seems to me right now that the world is full of so many feeling lost, lonely, unnoticed, insignificant, wondering who if anyone, cares about them and their plight… well this I know, God cares for the sparrow and to Him each one of us is worth much, much more than hundreds of sparrows.