|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:
|The view from inside - you can see the glass back of the birdhouse.|
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