It was one of those mornings. I hadn’t slept much the night before, but this internal clock that craves quiet time is always certain to wake me before the rest of my clan. I was distracted. My thoughts were bouncing around like a million pinballs in my head. I brewed a cup of coffee and settled into my favorite chair for some face time with God. These mornings are hard to pray through. I spoke to God in fragments at best with invasive reminders to self about thawing pork chops for dinner and to not forget about that quick trip to the store and wait, wasn’t there a fourth item I needed to pick up? God is always so patient with me. But these mornings, when things are weighing heavy, are also the mornings when I can’t find the words to eloquently tell my Father what’s on my heart.
I sighed in frustration, Bible still closed on the side table next to my chair. Reading wasn’t working just then and neither was intelligent conversation with my Maker. I grabbed my cup and walked to the window to peek into the backyard. It was a challenge to see through the haze of early dawn. All was quiet except for a few birds that were hungrily chasing down breakfast. Sparrows, to be specific.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Of course they had to be sparrows.
I hadn’t been able to muster much along the lines of prayers beyond, “Lord, I trust you.” Amazing how He hears my heart when I fumble for words. He knew I needed the reminder that I am worth more than many sparrows.
This is the God of the universe. How easily I forget that all things are in his care. He sees the ugliness of this world: the struggles, sorrows and sins. Yet, I keep finding myself losing sight of the fact that none of my circumstances are a surprise for him. He hasn’t missed anything that has transpired, and he hasn’t turned away. So why is it always easy to slide into this distracted mess of worry?
Simply put, worry is my default sin. It’s an old friend that I welcome back with ease. If I am fretting and fussing, then at least I am doing something about my circumstances, right? *sigh* I love that old saying about worry being like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but won’t get you anywhere. That’s been me. Rocking like a mad woman. Getting nowhere. Getting frustrated. I whip myself into a frenzy and then wonder why I can’t pray.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Jesus instructed us not to worry because it takes our eyes off of God, who can actually handle our tomorrows, and focuses them on ourselves. We become little gods trying to fix our own little self-absorbed universes. Meanwhile, all of our worry doesn’t change the way the events are unfolding. It just wears us out, diminishes our ability to respond maturely to our circumstances, and prevents coherent conversation with the Creator.
How do we stop ourselves from worrying? Change what we are focusing on. Praise God for the blessings he brings. Thank him that he has everything well in hand. This does not mean that our circumstances won’t hurt; it means that we will allow God to be God as He helps us with our emotions and through our valleys.
It is upsetting that we are often lead to believe that unless we are walking around with a smile on our face, we are being disobedient. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus felt all sorts of negative emotions. He just didn’t worry, because worry is a blatant sign that you don’t trust God. So go ahead and send desperate prayers heavenward in the form of tears falling. Sometimes the only thing we are able to pray is, “I trust you, Lord.” So keep praying those short, often fragmented, prayers. He hears you. And he will send “sparrows” as a reminder.
Abide in His Grace,