Of Sparrows and Trees and Bravery

By Debbie Brown

Last summer as I was driving through Washington’s expansive wheat fields, I noticed a tall tree alongside the road. As I looked at it, Jesus spoke to my heart, “I remember making that tree.” He sounded like a proud artist, showing off a sculpture. I was somewhat taken aback -- it was just a tree. As I raised my eyes to the hills in front of me, I could see thousands more just like it. “Not just like it,” He said. As I began to imagine all the trees along a hillside, and all the differences in every one, it was hard to believe He purposely designed each tree. Then it struck me: How wasteful God is! If we humans were creating a world, we would consider it incredibly wasteful to spend the time and energy to make each tree different and unique. Why not just make them all the same? They are just trees! Spend your time and energy on more useful things.

But our Creator believes that each creation is valuable and worthy of wasting effort. And yet, He is God, and it’s impossible for Him to be wasteful. I have to remind myself that He’s not just superhuman or ten times better than the best of us. He’s not just bigger than us. He’s God Almighty. He doesn’t have to make careful choices on where to spend His time, creativity or love. They are unlimited! What does that say about His heart, that He would care enough to intricately design every created thing? Oh, what the theory of evolution has stolen, ignoring the extravagant love that fashioned the twist and turn of every tree branch!

And you, created one! Set apart from the rest of creation, and made in the image of your Creator -- what value do you hold in His heart? This heart that is astoundingly unlimited, and that can care so deeply for each child of His as though he or she were His only child? May it leave you in awe to consider His love for you, and the price He would pay to have you close to His heart.

Jesus spoke of this truth to His disciples: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But even the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many flocks of sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7 AMP)

Even though we are comforted to hear of God’s great love for us, there is a deeper message here that we must not miss. We need to look at the context of this loving declaration. It comes as Jesus is telling his disciples how vital it is for them to openly confess their allegiance to Him when challenged, even in the face of someone who wants to kill them. That’s why He says in the middle of the passage: Don’t be afraid.

Knowledge of who our Father God is and His vast love for us isn’t just meant to give us warm fuzzies. It’s meant to give us courage in the face of our worst fears. So let us set our hearts and minds to know our Father and His love for each of us, so that we can be brave, no matter what we might face.