January 6, 2005

Encouragement for Today

 

His Eye Truly is on the Sparrow

Ramona Davis – Proverbs31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key verse:

 

“Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of Your presence, LORD.” Psalm 89:15 (NLT)

 

 

Devotion:

 

My backyard is teeming with a rich variety of birds each day. Every window along the back of our home has a view of a feeder, birdhouse or birdbath. I enjoy watching their behaviors and especially hearing their wide range of song.

 

If I neglect to fill the feeders before they empty, the birds will chatter loudly, asking for food. They perch in nearby branches waiting patiently while I fill each container with seeds. Then they move about and chirp loudly as if to say, “Thank you”.

 

God uses these tiny creatures to speak volumes to my heart. I am always overwhelmed with His creative measures to get our attention. For example:

 

My husband and I had just had an argument; I was on the very brink of giving him a piece of my mind when my eyes were drawn to a Robin sitting in the bird bath I had just filled with fresh water. I was surprised that she was just sitting in the frigid water, not bathing. At that moment, God spoke to my heart telling me to cool my temper before I put into the air words that could not be retrieved.

 

My grandfather’s pet name for me was Catbird. This bird has a beautiful song of rich musical notes. (Nope, I don’t sing, the bird is also known for its mischievous antics.)  I have frequently seen and heard the Catbird in my yard, at the school where I work and even at the beach while on vacation. It always seems to be serenading just me.

 

Captivated by the words in the Bible about birds; I especially love the verse that explains that God knows when even one of His sparrows falls to the ground. The best part of this verse says for me not to be afraid because I am worth more than many sparrows to my Heavenly Father. You are, too.

 

Our lives are woven with difficult challenges. Trouble will surely come to our lives. Disappointment, discouragement, depression, illness and even tragedy invade our lives and knock our feet out from under us. Many times, we suffer from irritability, anxiousness, and despair and we can’t even put our fingers on the exact cause. The Bible likens our difficult times to a bird caught in a snare.

 

Have you ever witnessed a bird trapped in a garage? Gently and calmly, you try to direct it to the open door but it frantically beats its wings and often goes in the opposite direction of freedom.

Just like the trapped bird, when faced with trials and challenges, we often panic. Instead of running to the One who promises to free us from the fowler’s net, we run in the opposite direction.

 

In 1905, a woman by the name of Civilla Martin wrote the words to a song entitled; “His Eye is On the Sparrow” (Charles Gabriel wrote the music). Civilla was inspired to write this song because of the joyful spirit of a married couple she knew. You see, the woman was confined to a wheelchair and her husband was severely crippled himself. Yet they joyously loved and served the Lord. When Civilla asked the woman for the secret of her joyous spirit, she replied, “His eye is on the sparrow”.

 

“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.

 

  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 doubts and fears,

  Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see,

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

 

I wondered if there was anything special about the sparrow since it was specifically mentioned in scripture. I decided to look it up in my “bird book”. Oh yes, there is something special about the sparrow. Do you know how it defends its territory? By singing!

 

Oh, happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD. Jesus said we would have trouble, but He also said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. Facing trouble today? Lift your eyes and your voice and sing His praises for He cares for you. Bask in the light of His presence.

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Oh Lord, forgive me for accusing You of abandoning me. I thank you for your watchful care over me even when I don’t understand what is happening or going to happen. Please make me evermore aware of Your awesome presence in my daily life. Increase my listening to hear Your joyful call to worship, for I long to walk in the light of Your presence. Amen

 

 

Application steps: 

 

Purpose in your heart to read and pray through the Book of Psalms by reading one psalm a day. Record your thoughts and prayers in a journal.

 

 

Reflection points:   

 

Reflect on God’s name, El Roi, “The God who sees me”.

 

Read Matthew 10:29-31 and consider your great worth to God. He sees you and He cares for you.

 

 

Power verses: 

 

Ecclesiastes 9:12 “People can never predict when hard timesmight come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy.” (NLT)

 

Psalm 91:3, 4 “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His Wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” (NKJV)

 

Psalm 120:1 “I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer.” (NKJV)

 

Psalm 124:7, 8 “We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.” (NLT)

 

Psalm 85:2, 3 “I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home there, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God! How happy are those who can live in your house always singing your praises.” (NLT)

  

  

Additional resources: 

 

Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/outofdark.html

 

Living Life on Purpose by Lysa Terkeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/livinglife.html