“You are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7).

Who thinks about sparrows?

If you check your Bible dictionary, you’ll discover that sparrows were among the humblest birds in Bible times. They were considered food for the poor, and because they were so cheap, the poor could offer them in sacrifice to the Lord if they couldn’t afford a lamb or a goat or a bull. You could buy two sparrows for a penny. That’s cheap by any standard. A buck would buy you a whole bag full of sparrows. You could feed your family sparrow casserole for a dime. (A friend from India told me he used to hunt sparrows and eat them. “They were better than chicken,” he said. I’ll take his word for it.)

Think of it this way.

God sees the sparrows.
He numbers the sparrows.
He notices the sparrows.

When the sparrow falls to the ground, it happens because God willed it to fall, and if he didn’t, the sparrow would never fall to the ground. This is a high view of God’s involvement in the tiny details of the universe. Even the falling of the sparrow is part of God’s providential oversight of the universe. This applies to our personal pain, and it applies to the heartache of watching our loved ones suffer.

I got a message from some friends going through a severe medical crisis. They have been battling cancer for a long time, and no one knows what the future may hold. The husband wrote to say he is struggling to understand how all things work together for good in this circumstance. I told him we see only bits and pieces of God’s plan. Sometimes those bits and pieces don’t make much sense to us. I am comforted by these words of Alva J. McClain: “From the fall of a raindrop to the fall of an empire, all is under the providential control of God.” If we believe that, we can keep going even though fears and doubts assail us.

Since we are worth more than “many sparrows” to God, if he cares for them, how much more will he care for us. Why should we shake? Why should we fear? Let the world shake and fear.

As the song says, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”

Thank you, Gracious Lord, for watching over the tiny sparrows. When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Amen.

Musical bonus: If you need encouragement in these troubled times, check out Make Room by Casting Crowns.

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