Yes, His Eye is on the Sparrow!

sparrow
Created by Beth Sweigard

Nearly two years ago on the day after Bev’s first surgery, when we learned the extent of her cancer, I wrote the following blog. It was the start of the road we knew would be difficult. Thankfully, we had little clue then just how hard! That road is now ending very soon, it appears. I read this affirmation of faith and cry for strength this morning with tears and longing. I know that my recent writing has been filled with sorrow, but this work is a reflection my walk with the Lord. In His sovereign will, He has chosen to let me live with a broken heart in this time.  Yet, as Habakkuk declares, so say I – “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:18-19, NIV)

Here are those words from March, 2014.

________________

“No eye is on the sparrow?”

I stood by my wife’s bedside in the ICU last night, feeling more helpless than at any time I can remember.  She was in surgery for most of the day, while I sat on a chair twiddling my thumbs!  I can’t heal her, I can’t even hug her right now.  Before they chased me out, I bent over her still frame, pressed my cheek against her’s and asked our Abba to keep us at peace, to heal and restore.  I thought of the hymn that says, “Under His wings, I am safely abiding, though the night deepens, and tempests are wild.”  My mind wrestled with that thought.  I love it, but I do not feel very safe today!

Joan Didion wrote The Year of Magical Thinking in which she tells the horrific story of the grief she experienced when both her beloved husband and her daughter died quite unexpectedly. The title comes from her attempts to keep them “alive,” by refusing to face the truth.  Denial offers us a temporary refuge. The last line in the book breaks my heart – “No eye is on the sparrow.” She concludes that our attempts to make sense of life with faith, that believing in God’s care, are just choices we make to avoid sliding into despair; nice, but untrue, nothing but magical thinking.

I have to say, “Ms. Didion, you are simply wrong.”  Yes, there are some Christians who indulge in magical thinking and call it faith.  Some persist in the foolishness of thinking that by saying prayers like magic incantations they will a pass from the sorrows of life from God.  Some fool themselves in thinking that they are too good to suffer.  The fact is that sin brought mortality to this earth and we all will die. Time passes quickly, at least in the way we measure it here on this earth. But what Ms. Didion does not grasp is that God is greater than our life experience and even time itself.  I trust Him implicitly and explicitly with the unfathomable sorrows through which I am walking.

The Lord never promises that any of us get to waltz our way to Heaven! Fiery trials mature our faith.  What He does promises is that He will never leave, never forsake us.  He promises us immortality through Christ Jesus, defeating even the ultimate enemy – death.  I am safely abiding, at rest, if I let God be God in my life, by surrendering my delusions of control.  If we only view life from this side of eternity we will join Solomon’s lament: “I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:16-20, NIV)

True saints who are full of genuine faith reach out to take hold of the eternal rule of God. Their lives become bridges over which eternity flows into time. Heaven in their hearts give life the meaning and purpose that the Bible promises. Such saints choose to rest even in the middle of the storm. They are not angry at the Lord for permitting their pain. Instead they pray He will break their stubborn will and make them useful for His Kingdom: right here, right now. Such surrender does not lead to resignation or apathy! It empowers them to go bravely into each new day, defying death and Hell. They are, at once, angry enough to resist the Devil and his attempts to wreck the works of God, and joyful enough to avoid cynicism.

Here is Paul’s affirmation of God’s purpose, even as he was growing through a time of terrible difficulty as a result of his ministry.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us….

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:2-4, 8-9, NLT)

Those are words to live by! They are not ‘magical thinking.’ They are Truth that allows us to face days, good and bad, head on; take strength from the Lord Jesus Christ, and make a Kingdom difference. Let’s stop asking God for easy, stop whining about how hard life is, and thank Him for giving us the privilege of making His glorious goodness known by putting “this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV)

Oh, yes, His eye is on the sparrow!

________

His Eye Is On The Sparrow
(Ethel Waters singing in her classic style.
I grew up hearing my Mom play this song on a scratchy phonograph recordand as a child I was puzzled at her tears as she listened prayerfully. Now I know why she wept.  They were not just tears of sorrow, though life is often so sad, they were tears that fall as we KNOW that our Father watches us! Oh, wonderful truth.) 

Why should I feel discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

Why should my heart be lonely,

And long for heaven and home?

When Jesus is my portion, my constant Friend is He.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

 

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free.

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.

 

“Let not your heart be troubled,”

His tender words I hear,

And resting on His goodness

I lose my doubt and fear.

Tho’ by the path He leadeth
but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow

and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow

and I know He watches me.

 

Whenever I am tempted,

 whenever clouds arise.

When songs give place to sighing,

When hope within me dies.

I draw the closer to Him

from care He sets me free.

His eye is on the sparrow

and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow

and I know He watches me.

Charles Hutchinson Gabriel | Civilla Durfee Martin

© Words: Public Domain

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s