The sparrow is the second most populous bird in the world, but only just. They are also native to the lands Jesus walked. They live side by side with humans, so we have all seen one species or another. They even eat whatever they find, preferring seed and insects.
Sparrows are truly common birds. Yet, we have the word of Jesus saying that each is cared for and noted by God. His creation is all special to him and he knows when his creation is hungry, in trouble, sleeping or thirsty. He knows each of these thousands of birds and cares.
Matt 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Why do we think that we can only come to him about a few things, about the things that are ‘big’ or the things that are troubling us, the things that are for other people and not ourselves? Why do we think we can’t take the things to him that were self-made messes and royal mistakes? Why do we think that something is insignificant and meaningless to the creator of the universe?
Is he too busy? Is he looking after only the ‘important’ folk? Is he looking after only a few things? Only the big things? NO.
He cares when we stub our toe. He cares when we pull our hair out. He cares when we are broke. He cares when we are at the end of our rope. He cares when we are tired. He cares when we are thrilled. He cares when we go to amusement parks. He cares when we go to church.
Even when a bird falls and struggles, God takes note. He does not stand by the side and watch. He has counted the hairs on our head. That number changes every day for me. But I know that he already sees that and has the count in his mind, even if I don’t.
The verses go on saying ‘do not be afraid’ and it is the same word we get ‘phobia’ from. This is do not be terrified. We mustn’t let things worry and frighten us such that we imagine God does not care or has not accompanied us. He knows what is happening and has in fact already seen what the outcome will be. Do not be afraid, seem to me to have an synonym which is ‘trust in me.’ I think God is saying ‘trust in me’ for all things, as the birds of the air trust in me for food, housing, in springtime and when the storms come. Do not be afraid, trust in me. We are worth more than sparrows.
It is the things that we care about that have value for us. The value that we assign to things also sets the level of information we have about that thing. If we value music, we might have lots of albums, a subscription to a music service, we might sing in a band or the choir and even play instrument or two. We spend time learning about what has value, or the people in our lives that have value. We get coffee with friends, spend our time and money being with them and making memories. We get to know everything we can about that treasured person or thing. God already knows everything about us yet loves spending time with us. He already knows how many hairs are on our head, and he embraces us when we get dirty or make a mistake. He treasures me. He treasures you.
The worth that he alone instills in us in these few verses is so great. The creator of the universe treasures us. We may dismiss these little birds we have never even noticed before, but he would never dismiss us. He never dismisses us; he never ignores us. He wants us and he gives us worth as his creation. He treasures us.