Thursday, January 23, 2014

The hairs on your head

When we read a scripture like this,

"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." (Luke 12:7)

or this,

"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)

We understand the verse is telling us that God is sovereign. His sovereignty extends to even the smallest, most seemingly inconsequential matters. To Him, these matters that men take as nothing are consequential to Him. A sparrow falls to the ground, A hair falls from your head... He not only notices, He causes or allows each and every thing under the sun to occur. Even more, He is doing it for His glory, or for the good of those who love Him, or to harden men in their sin. That is the destiny of the entire world; His glory, expressed through His condemning wrath or His loving salvation.

But in every day life, how is this level of detail in His sovereignty expressed? How does it play out before our eyes? We no longer buy sparrows for a penny to sacrifice. So what does His knowing the details of our lives and His care for them look like?

I submit the following for your consideration.

Yesterday I had an incredibly busy day. It was a whirlwind and emotionally and it was physically draining too. As I clocked out at the front office, the secretary asked me if I was going to do the usual, which was to go straight home and brew a cup of herb tea. I said no.

"I need chocolate! I am going to find somewhere along the way home, stop, and buy some CHOCOLATE! I need some chocolate!" You ever have one of those days? I did.

Anyway, she was so sweet, she slid open her desk drawer and opened a fancy package and gave me three chocolate turtles on the spot! She put them in a baggie and I took them home and ate them. As the evening drew on, I said to myself, "That wasn't enough. I need more chocolate.''... Then at church a brother in the faith walked up to me and handed over a package and said, "This is from MJ (who was worshiping at the other building)." What was in the package? CHOCOLATE! Not a coincidence.

LOL, not that we can put in an order with God, He's not a waiter. But if we think through just how sovereign He is, this makes sense.

People say that He is too busy to be concerned with the minutest details of our lives, but it is not so. It is an expression of His omniscience, His power, and His love to know all things and to be managing them moment by moment for each and every person on this 8 billion populated earth. Doesn't it make you feel more loved and more secure to know that he is that big? That He knows our needs every moment, and anticipating them, provides?

Here is Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition with some Charles Spurgeon quotes on The Extent of God's Sovereignty:

I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—
that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—
that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.
The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—
the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.

Take heart that our Jesus is fully aware of each and every tear you shed, each frown that crosses your brow, each plea in your prayer closet or even each cry remaining solidly locked in your heart. He is sovereign, and He is able and willing to hear us and know us and take care of us.

The chocolate is a small thing, perhaps a silly thing. But at that moment, I was tired, fainting, and weary. He knew. This small incident is an example of today's sparrow. Are we not much more valuable than they?  Does not our Father hear us and comfort us when we plea for comfort? Through this silly exercise we see God hears, He works, He is knitting together all things for good to those who love Him. He let me know He is there with me. I took solace and comfort in pondering, once again, His magnificent sovereignty, wide as a universe and detailed as His loving care of myself moment by moment.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you, Elizabeth, for this. I have been going through a rough patch. I am in a financial pit that I dug with my own two hands...not purposely, but foolishly. I've had to confess the sins of greed, materialism, covetousness, selfishness, and even laziness that got me where I am today. I know God has forgiven me for these sins, but I also know that I have to deal with the consequences. On top of this, I've had car problems, which I got fixed yesterday. Then, today as I left for work, I discovered I had a flat tire. I am stressed beyond measure...but I know God is sovereign, he cares for me, and he will bring me through.

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    1. Aw, man, that sure is a rough patch. It sounds like you have a good head start on coming out of it though, repentance and then reliance on our Father and faith that He will see you through. I'll pray for you.

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    2. Oh, sister, I do pray for you! I know the bitterness of digging out of pits I've dug with my own two hands, and I pray the LORD will encourage you as you cling to Him. Your humility is just what He desires, and He will lift you up (James 4:10) and show Himself mighty on your behalf (II Chron 16:9) as you trust in Him.

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  2. Isn't it just like God to provide for us abundantly?

    Thank you Father for Elizabeth, a willing servant, who reminds us to center our faith on You and to not focus on our fears.

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  3. Elizabeth, you're truly an artist with words of encouragement. Thank you!

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  4. I loved this, mostly because it reminded me of the very difficult time at the beginning of my life as a single parent. It was hard enough losing my husband, but the weekends he had our son were devastating. One Friday evening I was desperately lonely and called a few people, but no one could talk and I finally gave up and cried out to the LORD. We had such sweet fellowship that evening and I was ashamed I had looked to "creature streams" for help.

    Well, what followed was astounding to me as a fairly new believer...several people called the next day, and on Sunday someone brought me a loaf of homemade bread and a woman asked me to be her daughter for the upcoming mother-daughter banquet. Lesson learned: look to the LORD first and He'll meet our needs in all kinds of ways.

    It's precious when God loves us through our brothers and sisters!

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