Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12: 6-7 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
I was reminded of it again yesterday as the world watched the National Football League’s annual Super Bowl showcase and game. Super Bowl XLVI indeed lived up to all the hype and billing and was one for the ages, but it was not without the anxiety and uncertainty leading up to it for players and coaches, and which is a part of our lives in most every setting, wherever we find ourselves.
It happens everywhere, in every day, with everyone, but it seems to be magnified for us all to see at certain times and especially in the world of sports. Worry, anxiety, living up to expectations, feeling at times that it is all about you and that God is nowhere to be found. We really do want to believe the promises of the scripture passages above, but then all too often—we feel that we still have to win.
When we win, it seems that we tend to believe those promises a bit more. It’s then that we tend to believe that He really does care, that we are worth more than the sparrows to Him and that He does indeed count every hair on our head. Those promises that God’s peace is there for us, and believing that God really does care for us, seem easier to embrace—when we win. And if we don’t win, well, then too often in our own eyes—and perhaps in the eyes of others—we often see ourselves as less valuable and less important to the world, to others, and even to God. We only prove ourselves as worthy, valuable and important—if we win. And we wonder if He’s anywhere around.
That is the message of the world, but that is not the message of the God who loves you and me.
And it happens every day in the midst of our struggles, our uncertainty, failures and losses—feeling in the midst of those struggles that we are all alone and that no one cares—not our family, not our friends, not even God. Feeling that no one is there—not even the God who has been there since the beginning of time, the God who created us, and will be there throughout eternity.
But He does care. And He is there to help us, to comfort us, to pick us up, to strengthen us, and to send us out again and again—with Him. In our wins, our successes and joys, our losses, failures, uncertainty and heartaches—He is there and He does care.
It reminds me of a story I heard of a man who lived by a river. One day it began to rain and the rain continued day after day. After a number of days of steady rain, the man heard a radio report that the river was going to rise higher than ever and flood the town. The report went on to say that all the residents of the town should evacuate their homes.
But the man said to himself, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” And he stayed in his home.
The waters continued to rise up. A guy in a rowboat came along and shouted: “Hey you, you in there! The town is flooding! Let me take you to safety!”
But the man shouted back: “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” And he stayed.
Soon thereafter, a helicopter was hovering overhead and a guy with a megaphone shouted down at the man: “Hey you! You down there! The town is flooding! Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety!”
But, once again, the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and would take him to safety, and he stayed in his home.
Well, the man drowned.
And standing at the gates of Heaven, he saw St. Peter and demanded an audience with God—which was granted.
“Lord,” he said, “I’m a religious man. I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did you let this happen to me?”
God said, “I sent you a radio report, a guy in a rowboat and a helicopter. What in the world are you doing here?”
If we look back through all the joys and struggles of our lives, we will see God’s hand in the midst of all we were going through. It may have been through a phone call from a friend, or an arm around our shoulder to help us through a disappointing moment. It may have been through a prayer, or advice or guidance in a moment when we felt lost. He may do it through your spouse or other member of your family, through a friend, a pastor, through a doctor’s message of hope, or in a beautiful and timely sunset, or a child’s radiant smile. Or perhaps it was just someone sitting with us silently—saying in that gesture that they cared.
In all of the circumstances of our lives, we can see that God has continually been there—sending and providing help in our times of trouble and concern. It may not have been through a radio report, or with a rowboat or a helicopter—but He is always there sending help, caring and comfort our way. Not to mention what He did for us through His Son Jesus Christ.
He cares for us no matter what and through whatever we are going through.
What more could we possibly want from Him?
Cast all your cares on Him—because He cares for you!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2012. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.