Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. - Matthew 10:29
God has allowed my family a front row seat to watch how he cares for his sparrows. A couple of literal love-birds decided to make our front door their home. They made a nest on top of a wreath attached to the glass front of our door. From little speckled eggs to fat chirping birdies, we have been allowed to watch these babies grow. Now we have a happy family of five. Extremely cool. Even if they are the lowliest of common birds.
Being able to observe these sparrows each day reminds me constantly of God’s care for his children. As Jesus said in Luke 12:6-7, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God’s care for his creatures is amazing. He sustains all wildlife on earth, providing habitat, food, and life itself. Not a single one is forgotten before God.
Do you ever feel forgotten? Ever feel like the lowliest of common humans? Like just another sparrow among millions of other sparrows? Let God’s words encourage you today - listen when he says, “Fear not” (v.7). God says you are more valuable than many sparrows and he has even numbered the hairs on your head. Do you know how many hairs are on the heads of your children? No, you don’t. Because you didn’t put them there, God did. He is their Creator and yours, and God cares for his creation. If God declares you valuable, then that is what you are.
Take the time to recognize his care for you. From the general graces of sun, oxygen, housing, food and water to the blessings of family, friends and possessions. All from God. For believers, our blessings from God are unmatched. Grace upon grace, love, forgiveness, peace, strength, eternal life and on and on. To say he cares for us sounds utterly inadequate. He lavishes us with blessing upon blessing and says there is more to come. How can we not praise him forever?
We have another huge advantage over the birds of this earth. God made us in his image and gave us a voice - we can speak. We can ask our Father to give us what we need. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11. “Ask, and it will be given to you;” Matthew 7:7. We have a Father who has authority over all things and a desire to bless his children. Ask him for what you need and give him glory.
The full nest on our front door has made it through thunderstorms and windy days. The momma bird even survived an unplanned visit inside our home. One night she flew in the front door along with the boys. It took us a long time to corral her out the back door. We thought she might die from fright or exhaustion, but she recovered and found her way back to her little ones.
Ladies, you too will find yourself in storms and the winds of this world will try to knock you down. There will be days where you may find yourself where you do not want to be. But your Father is faithful. He holds you in his hands and will not let you go. As he cares for the lowliest of common sparrows clinging to a front door in Cascade, Iowa, he will certainly care for you.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” - Matthew 6:26
If we are faithless, he remains faithful. - 2 Timothy 2:13
Phil and I had been gone for a long weekend. The boys were left with their older brother for four days. A risk, maybe, but worth it. I planned ahead, got everything ready that they would possibly need. I even typed out a schedule with a list of chores and responsibilities. I had several conversations with them. Order, organization and communication - check, check and check.
Coming home on Sunday afternoon, I think I could smell my sons before I could see them. It felt like walking into a frat house. They had friends over and were playing loudly, the house was a mess. For some reason everything felt sticky. And, really, where was that smell coming from? The boys were not thrilled to see us. Their greeting was, “Home already?” ...oh, the love. I hugged them anyway (then kicked their friends out and made them clean).
This experience (and many like it) have taught me something important: kids need moms.
Yes, the whole world smells better because we have moms. But far beyond that, moms are vital for the persistent training that is needed in raising children. No other being besides a mother has the life-long patience to do this. How many times do I have to remind my boys to clean up after themselves, to say thank you, or to not hit each other? A. L.O.T. Do they always listen the first time? N.O. Am I repetitive in my instructions? Do I have to repeat myself often? Did you hear what I just said? Did you understand what I asked you to do? Will you repeat it back to me? See, I wrote it down so you will remember it. You still forgot and don’t remember ever talking about this before? Aghhh!!
Who else but moms could put ourselves through this for 18 years and then cry when these creatures finally leave home? Who else but moms could handle instructing, training and correcting all day, every day and still love these kids so much we could burst? Just moms.
God put mothers in a fantastic position to demonstrate the attribute of faithfulness. Our God is always faithful, even when we are not. This truth is found in one of my favorite portions of scripture, 2 Timothy 2:11-13: “If we have died with him, we will also live with him, if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself.”
We moms demonstrate this to our children by remaining a faithful parent. Meaning, we continue to guide them and train them in the way they should go even when they ignore, dismiss or forget our counsel. We do not give up on them when they fail, we re-instruct and keep on loving them. This is what our loving Heavenly Father does for us. We are so very forgetful, ignorant and stubborn. Yet, our Father “gives more grace” to his children (James 4:6). This grace is undeserved because we are most certainly unworthy of it, yet it is given because of the faithfulness of the Father.
Just as we expect our children to grow in their understanding and obedience, God desires the same for us. Thankfully, he left us a note! God wrote down his words of instruction for us and tells us to read it. So do that - read it and do what it says. Allow his words to train and correct your heart.
Moms, keep on momming. Exhibit God’s faithfulness as you faithfully train up your children day after day, year after year. There will be a time when you agree with the Psalmist when he said: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3. It may not be right after returning home to a stinky mess with grumpy kids, but it will come.
One final tip: if you take the time to type up a schedule and list of responsibilities, afix it firmly to the refrigerator for everyone to see. Do not leave it on the table where it will end up being used as a bookmark in a Calvin and Hobbes comic book on the first day - all record of responsibility gone for the rest of the weekend! True story.