Just over a year ago, I opened one of my favorite Christmas gifts in recent years—a bird feeder. I watch as varieties of birds I have never known before make the tree outside my window a daily, sometimes hourly pit-stop. Simple, I know, but as we’ve progressed through what’s been one of the most arduous, stressful years many of us have gone through, it’s been one of the best reminders for me about where my hope truly lies.
See, if there’s anything we can learn from birds—even the most common ones like sparrows—it’s this: God cares deeply for us. In fact, God not only just cares for us, He knows us intimately and completely. In Psalm 139, within this beautiful letter David writes to God, He says in verses 11-15:
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.’”
For so many of us, myself included, the crazy happenings this week in Washington D.C. and beyond have been the latest in a long line of things that bring anxiety. But as Pastor Mike spoke on Sunday, if anything can bring us hope, it’s these words from Jesus Christ:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 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? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Matthew 6:25-27 (ESV)
Our anxiousness. Our needs. Our feelings. Our ideas. Our hopes. Our worries.
Everything about us is important to God, and He never intended for our spectrum of emotions and circumstances to be locked away in the far reaches of our hearts and minds. For those who have chosen to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us to walk with us through all of life’s twists and turns—both the good ones and the bad. This is part of the “secret” that Paul is referencing when, in Philippians 4:5-7, he writes, “…The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
On an individual level, we can’t control anything such as the things we witnessed in the public square this last week (or in recent months and years), but we can know the person who is in control of the whole picture. So, while anxiety has a way of finding us during trying times, it doesn’t have to consume us. There is help through God and His Word, through His Holy Spirit, and through our local church community here at Harvest.
To further solidify this, Paul writes in Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Do these things often if you can, and God will do the rest.
The birds that have come and visited my feeder since last Christmas have no idea why they were all of the sudden able to find a consistent source of food in an unlikely pocket of my yard, but they know it now regardless. And they return to it day after day after day.
God has done the same for us. Let us also return to the source of our sustenance day after day after day.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF …
- Do I truly understand who God is?
- What am I thankful for today?
- Where am I putting my trust right now?
- How can I bring God into my daily rhythms this week?