“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
The possibilities of hurtful things happening to us at the hands of other people can strike great fear in our hearts. Some people hurt us intentionally, others naively. Even friends can wound. Those who are in Christian leadership are especially vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. The fact that they are in the public eye puts them under a scrutiny others do not have. Leaders’ decisions are often difficult. They weigh opposite viewpoints and make judgments that will be unpopular. At times they must make statements and take stands against trends in society and the church. In response, hurtful words and actions are used to strike at the leader. These can be devastating experiences, leaving the leader fearful about what people can do to him or her. It is here where the Sparrow’s Secret can bring peace.
In Matthew 10:27-31, Jesus was talking to his disciples about persecution. He was encouraging them to be courageous and not to fear those who could hurt them. He illustrated the sovereign care of the Heavenly Father even in the times when hate is perpetrated on us. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” He was illustrating that even the smallest events that fall upon our lives are “Father-filtered.” What happens to us has been divinely permitted. The world may seem out of control, but it is not; even sparrows are under his watchful eye.
This then calls us to trust—trust that our lives are not out of control; our circumstances are not merely the result of human doings. There is a control that will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability, tested beyond what we can bear. So rest, rest in the truth that your Heavenly Father’s watchful eye is on you. Be assured that your persecution at the hands of hurtful people is not outside of the Father’s permission. He is using it to build his purposes in the world and in your life. The Apostle Paul understood the Sparrow’s Secret when he wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword?…I am convinced…that none of these things shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39).
There is a rest and confidence in the Sparrow’s Secret. Have you been wounded by the sting of what others have said or done? Rest; it is not out of the Father’s control.
Prayer starter: Thank you, Father, that as you see the sparrow, you value and see me even more.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.