We go through many situations where it’s hard to see God’s hand, isn’t it? Well, we’re not alone in that. Take just a couple of examples of people who directly challenged Jesus in Scripture with the same anguished thought.
God, do you not care?
Looking at the universe overall, many nonbelievers claim there’s no way a loving God could have created a world that’s so full of cruelty, suffering, and accidents. Consider what Richard Dawkins had to say in River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life:
“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. … The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
While the harsh realities of life make questions and quotes like the ones above resonate and hard to grapple with, I want to remind us of a beautiful promise, straight from Jesus’ lips:
“Are not two or five sparrows sold for a penny or two? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father; not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31, Luke 12:6-7
The hair statement by itself is remarkable. Researchers have said that the approximate number of hairs on your head depends on your hair colour? Redheads reportedly have about 90,000; blondes have about 150,000; brunettes about 110,000; and those with black hair about 100,000.
Whether that’s true and regardless of hair colour, that’s a whole lot of hair strands to number! According to Jesus though, God knows them all. Yes, God absolutely does care, right down to such a minute detail about you.
Think about sparrows. So small, plain, dismissed by the world. But noticed, cared for, and valued in the sight of God
But consider, too, the sparrow statement. Sparrows are considered pests. Forgettable. Average. So many billions and billions of them that each one seems practically worthless. Imagine what it would feel like to be so common and expendable that you could be sold for just half a cent.
And yet, Jesus says: “Not one is forgotten.” Not one.
When He says, “Not one sparrow falls to the ground without God noticing,” I used to think He meant not one sparrow ever died without God’s knowledge. That alone would be remarkable, but turns out His claim is much stronger than that.
The Greek word translated “fall to the ground” (piptó) actually means to descend, to light on or fly down to the ground. It’s astounding, but what Jesus is saying is that God is aware of not only how many hairs are on your head, but also every single time a sparrow flies down and lands on the ground.
Brothers and sisters, God isn’t weirdly obsessed with bird activity. In His omniscience and kindness, He is aware of, knows about, and cares for everything and everyone. He doesn’t forget or overlook even the tiniest details. He is absolutely not indifferent.
Think about sparrows. Or the hairs on your head. Something so small, so plain, so dismissed by the world. But noticed, cared for, and valued in the sight of God.
If that’s the case, how much more are you?
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