The other day, I was out for my morning run when a pair of flapping black wings caught me off guard.
A medium-sized black sparrow furiously tossed about--urging my attention--and I noticed he was caught in twine. I ran back to the apartment to retrieve Elliott, feeling very helpless on my own. I thought for sure there was nothing we could really do, besides maybe call someone to help us. After a half hour, Elliott set the little guy free. He flew off into the sky.
That's the short, fact-based, mini-story. But there was a lesson for me to learn.
At first, it was tempting to ignore the bird's frantic movements. It would have been easy for me to forget about him and excuse myself. "I'm sure he'll find a way out somehow. After all, it's just a sparrow."
...just a sparrow...
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
And yet, not even one sparrow will fall to the ground without your heavenly Father knowing it.
But the very hairs on your head are numbered.
So do not fear; you are worth far more than many sparrows."
I couldn't ignore the small sparrow because I knew he was my Father's creation. God loved that little sparrow, and He knew every single sparrow that flies through the air. I had to get help for this bird because it was my responsibility-- nevermind the fact that I simply take joy in the Lord's creation.
But beyond that, the Lord reminded me very vividly of the above passage. I had to love the sparrow because I knew that God was loving that sparrow. God knew that he had fallen, and I had to find help for him.
But, you see, my journey didn't end there. My mind flashed to another verse about birds. I think you might be familiar with it:
"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 much more valuable than they?"
The passage flashed through my mind as I attempted to comprehend the fact that even then, God knew where that tiny black bird had flown away to. And I thought about myself, about how I worry about our finances and support raising, and getting through each day. I found myself once again wrapped in fear and anxiety, and I prayed the simple prayer I pray every day--
Give us this day our daily bread.
And God answered back:
When have I ever not given you your daily bread?
I have to say, that nearly knocked the wind right out of me.
He was right.
I have never gone hungry.
I have never been in want.
Each and every day, he has more than provided for our needs.
And the motive behind this prayer I was praying daily-- while it was a good prayer to pray-- my motive was fear and not trust.
Later that day, our support-raising leader said something that God directed right towards me:
"If you fear God, you don't have to fear money."
Because I cannot serve two masters.
And right there - right then - I let it all go.