Just Think Of The Sparrows
For my birthday earlier this month, I wanted a bird for a gift. But instead, God gave me this "imaginary sparrow" so that I could share it with everyone. When I read my final draft of this article, I cried...because I realized that not only did God answer all the questions I'd been asking Him for, but He also guided me to find out the answers on my own. Yes, I am a self-confessed "sparrow." Please take time to read. And if you think of the sparrows, maybe you can say a lil' prayer for me as well? Thank you and may God bless us all! Sincerely,
It amazes me that the sparrows are mentioned in the Bible so many times. What is so special about them? Just for kicks, I decided to research this particular kind of bird.
Here's what I discovered: out of the more than 9,000 varieties of birds in the world, none is more common than the sparrow. Sparrows are small and pretty insignificant birds. This gave me the the answer though: it is their insignificance that makes them significant to the Lord.
I can see a bit of the sparrow in every one of us.
The sparrow within us manifests in different forms, making us feel insignificant - small, unloved, and unnoticed. There are times when we feel completely worthless - like nobody loves us and no one even cares if we are alive; times when it seems like the world is against us - when we ask, "Where are you God?" amidst our feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. And sometimes, we feel like sparrows in only bits and pieces of life, rather than all of it - like when we are successful in our careers, but fail in our personal relationships.
We've all had those moments; all followers of Christ are "sparrows." No one is excluded from the love of God - we are all important to the Lord.
From my research, I also discovered that sparrows have different species (american tree sparrow, house sparrow, henslow's sparrow, to name a few!) and each type has its own distinct color and characteristics.
Like the bird sparrow, there are also different types of "Christian sparrows" among us:
1. THE DORMANT "CHRISTIAN SPARROW"
This dormant state usually arises because of chronic adverse circumstances such as disease, a bad home or job situation, or anything else that affects our lives on a major scale. This often results in feeling worthlessness and despair.
Here's what may have happened. We have all heard of the word "erosion," right? When something erodes, it is either eaten away or worn out. Erosion is a process where something that was once a thing of beauty or a strong pillar has deteriorated.
We have all seen or heard about a landslide erosion that causes damage to its surroundings. Well, this is parallel to our Christian walk. We slowly drift off God's path and eventually, we just stop and become dormant.
WHAT TO DO:
You may have eroded in your Christian walk, but unlike soil erosion which may be irreparable, you can always return to your walk with the Lord.
How? If we are going to understand the world and its impact on us, then we must be ceaseless students of the Bible. Keep in mind that the Bible comes from the mind of God and it is the ONLY source of the true perspective of God. So, if you want to regain your equilibrium and continue your walk with God, then it is necessary to return to the Word of God.
2. THE "CHRISTIAN SPARROW" WHO PATIENTLY WAITS
Sometimes, we go through circumstances that make us feel overlooked and brushed aside. You see the successes of others and wonder when it will be your turn. Others receive accolades, while you quietly do your own thing on the sidelines. Your friends seem to be getting the grades, marriage proposals, babies, and dream job. Yet, you find yourself waiting.
God places us in quiet seasons intentionally, though - hidden and tucked away. We need quiet seasons to heal, reflect, grow, draw closer to His heart, learn, and rest. Even so, it can be easy to feel cheated and gypped during these times.
WHAT TO DO:
The most important thing you can do is to just quietly go with God's purpose for your life. In the process, you will have some "sparrow moments" when you feel small and insignificant.
But here's the truth of the matter: God sees you and He is preparing you for the right time when you are ready for the next step of your life. Yes, you too will get that promotion...in HIS time.
You want something and you may want it right away, but God says, "Wait, just wait! I have bigger plans for you...this is just not the right time."
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11
In these quiet waiting seasons, when you feel stuck and left behind, God is doing His great work of refining you. He is teaching you lessons and handing out pearls of wisdom, but only if your heart is open to receiving them.
3. THE HOPELESS "CHRISTIAN SPARROW"
Amidst the multitude of problems that our world faces today - unemployment, food shortages, energy crisis, spiking cost of basic commodities, religious wars - it's inevitable that many people are gripped with a quiet despair, uncertain of their future, wondering if they can even survive until their next paycheck. They flit from one task to another, doing the best they can and hoping to just survive today.
But, God is good. When you were born, He gifted you with survival instincts to help you cope and survive difficult situations. So don't give up easily; continue to fight and you will become resilient because the Lord is your strength. But, even if you do your best and fail, don't lose hope...
WHAT TO DO:
At times like these, learn to put into God's hands what you cannot change. Learning more about Him will give you confidence that He's able to take care of your storms in life. Not being able to overcome difficulties on your own doesn't always mean you're weak - it means you strongly believe that God will see you through... like the sparrows.
[pullquote width="300" float="right"]"For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling, He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."[/pullquote]
This is also the time to remind yourself that self-reliance may be an admirable trait in society, but when you have given it all and still you haven't succeeded, then you have to accept the simple truth that there are things that only God can do.
As the psalmist says, "For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling, He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."
4. THE "CHRISTIAN SPARROW" WITH A BIG HEART
In a homily during a mass I attended, the priest related a touching story about an old woman who never fails to attend the early morning mass. "And everyday," said the priest, "the woman would get the broom and sweep the floor after the mass." Then one day, the priest could no longer resist asking the woman, "How much are you paid for it?" "Nothing Father," she replied. "Since I do not have money for the alms, I serve the Lord in my own little way. This is my humble love-offering to Him."
Such an admirable tiny sparrow with a BIG heart for Jesus. Can we all be like this woman? Like her, every Christian can serve the Lord - even in little things coupled with love.
What type of sparrow are you?
How wonderful that Jesus speaks of sparrows to help us understand that He notices even the things that the world deems insignificant - that in His eyes, we hold great value. Simply put, the next time you feel shunned by the world, neglected, small or unimportant...My friend, have faith! Just think of the sparrows.