March 19, 2012

Two Sparrows for a Penny

There is nothing like that first glimpse of a red breasted robin to let you know that spring is here. I saw my first one last week and I felt elated! We grew up with many bird feeders - Opa Westerink loved his birds and faithfully fed them. I think growing up with a huge variety of birds in the backyard, lovingly fed and attended to, began a life long love in me for birds. Whenever my kids ask me what my favourite animal is I say "A bird!" . Lately I love birds more then ever and I want to share why that is. I watched an interview with Ed Dobson the other day (a pastor with ALS from Grand Rapids, MI that I have been following since my Dad was diagnosed). The interviewer, CNN's Gary Tuchman (click HERE for link), asked Ed why he liked birds and he said "Every time I see a bird I am reminded that God will take care of me." 

Photo Credit:  Ryk Naves.  This photo and more found HERE

This afternoon at our church, Pastor Schoeman preached an immensely comforting sermon on Matthew10 and Lords Day 10 (from the Heidelberg Catechism) on the doctrine of Providence. Before Jesus sent out his disciples he told them about some of the hard things they would encounter as they went out into the world telling people about the good news of salvation in Christ. The disciples must have been afraid after hearing that they are going to be "like sheep among wolves" and that they would be "brought before governors and kings" and "scourged in their synagogues". But then Jesus said these amazing words:  29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 

Of all the beautiful creatures God made, he turned to the humble sparrow. Nothing fancy or colourful just a simple, common bird that was sold 2 for a penny at the market. Simple and common like the group of poor, uneducated fishermen before Him, who surely felt afraid and unprepared for the task set before them. Jesus knew their fears and He reminded them that their heavenly Father knew about and cared about even the most common creatures, sparrows sold for next to nothing. How much more didn't He care about them - created in His own image! There is no such thing as luck or chance or happenstance. God is not a clockmaker that made the world, set it spinning and left us on our own to figure it all out. He controls everything. Everything! He knows how many hairs are on our head. He sends rain and sunshine, spring and winter time. He used the famine to bring Joseph to Egypt, he brought the fish to swallow Jonah, he used the death of Ruth's husband to bring her to Israel and make her a part of the line of Christ. Good things and bad, sickness and health, prosperity and joy … even ALS - nothing is outside of his control. Nothing slips past His hands. He holds us and controls everything in our life. And if we love Him - he uses it all for our good! What an amazing comfort this is. 

Photo Credit:  Ryk Naves

Sometimes I think we can feel that the doctrines outlining our faith are not important or helpful in our daily walk with the Lord, but today the doctrine of Gods Providence was such an encouragement to me. And I hope it can be an encouragement to you too Dad. I hope that like Ed Dobson, you can look out your window and see birds flying by and think every single time you see one, that God cares for that bird. How much more doesn't he care for me? Ed Dobson said " I see a lot of birds!" Dad, as you are more and more confined to your chair in your living room, I pray that God will send flocks of birds by your window. Every day. And that every day again this truth will carry you - that God, who made you and redeemed you, also cares about what you experience every single day. He is working all things for your good:    

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus had to do a wood project for his cadets group. He decided to make a birdhouse for his Opa's window. He designed the birdhouse to have 3 wooden sides, a roof, and a glass panel at the back. 

The view from inside - you can see the glass back of the birdhouse.
His idea is this: that the birdhouse, which is now mounted right outside of their living room window, will someday house a bird, who will make a nest in it, visible from Opa's recliner.

Wouldn't that be amazing! After being reminded by our Lord Jesus today to look at the birds and be reminded of our heavenly Father's love, I pray that these simple but beautiful birds will become a real comfort to you too Dad! And that one will nest right outside your window so you can never forget for a moment how much God cares for you.

Lots of love


  1. I love spring time, and one of the things I love about spring is the return of the birds. You can hear them before it is even light, singing and praising the great Creator of heaven and earth. When they return in the spring, we are reminded that God has cared for them, even through the winter. Last Sunday morning, I heard a large sound against the patio door, and I looked, It was a robin, he had crashed into the reflection of the sunlight. He seemed to lie there lifeless, and I thought, I should pick up his lifeless body, and bury him. I went on to read my Bible and pray, and was thinking and meditating on how that the Lord even cares for the birds, but what about this bird? I went past the window about fifteen minutes later, and there was no sign of the bird. He was gone! My thoughts were, Oh Lord, You have shown me again, that you care for every little bird, and also for me! Yes, He cares for us all. And one day, as we all must die, He will resurrect our bodies, and then we will ever be with Him! Oh marvelous thought! May our song be tonight, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He cares for me!
    In Christian love,

  2. Being able to rest in the Providence and care of God is such a comfort. He knows all things, nothing can happen to us outside of His will, and He will carry His children through the darkest valleys.
    Praying for you all.

    Mary VanD.