Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
The words to this gospel hymn are more fully experienced sung in an African American worship service by a talented soloist who can belt it out in full emotion. But the words alone speak a message for all of us struggling along life’s challenging road.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
God cares for His creation. And He especially cares for the creation that bears His name. We are worth far more to Him, and we can trust that He will watch over us.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
We can trust that God will take care of us, and in that trusting, we can come to rest in His perfect provision for our lives. We face many needs and challenges, some physical, others relational or financial, many emotional and spiritual. God our Creator knows us, and knows each of those needs intimately. And He is able to care tenderly for them.
My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
We teach children the difference between “wants” and “needs.” They may say they “need” a new toy or new bicycle, but we help them understand that those are really just “wants.” So, too, we as adults sometimes need reminded of this difference. How many of my hopes and expectations are “wants?” And a scarier question is- how many of those “wants” have self-centered motives?
If we are honest, I think most of us will admit many of our “wants” come from worldly pressures and our own selfishness. We want a perfect house, a perfect car, a perfect marriage, a perfect child. Hopefully we can also admit that God has used difficult circumstances to whittle away at those “wants” and mold them into God-centered desires. We can agree that we don’t “need” perfect houses, cars, marriages and children to live. We need God.
God works in our “wants” and “needs” to bring us to total dependence on Him. He promises to meet all of our needs, and carve away at our worldly and selfish desires until we align with Him.
Command those who are rich in the present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
This promise tells us that if we will delight ourselves in God, He will place within us new desires. The desires of our heart become the desires of God’s heart and we seek after all the fullness of what He has for us. We place our hope in His care, trusting Him to meet all our needs physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
One of the deepest fears for a mother of a child with special needs is the fear of what will happen to her child if something happens to her. We can trust God’s care for our child- whether we are here to help or not. God will provide for all of his or her needs.
Trusting God to take care of all our needs frees us from the worry and stress of thinking we have to come up with all the answers. We are free to lay all our fears at His feet and place our confidence in His faithful provision. We are free to enjoy the many blessings He has given. We are free to delight in His faithful, watchful, caring hand.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free.
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.