Don’t Be Afraid – Week of July 6, 2020

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.

Matthew 10:29-31

Don’t be afraid. We’ve all heard those words. We’ve all said those words. When you’re waiting for a grade on an important exam. When you’re waiting for test results from a doctor. Sitting up at night, watching for your child to come home. Comforting a young child as they wait for their mom or dad to arrive. Don’t be afraid. I don’t know about you, but those words by themselves, while well intended, didn’t really make my fear or concern go away.

I love getting up early and taking a long walk in our neighborhood. There’s something special about the quiet of the morning and the sound of birds as the day begins. Lately I’ve noticed a couple of tiny bright yellow finches and a family of cranes strolling with two young ones. However, I can’t honestly say that I’ve given a lot of attention to the humble sparrows in my neighborhood. They seem ordinary, unremarkable.

Our world is always full of struggles, but the struggles right now seem more profound. The ongoing uncertainly of a pandemic can fill you and me with mixed emotions. The racial and political tensions are difficult to understand and to watch. In it all, we can feel anxious, frustrated, even helpless. Worry can creep in and shake our confidence. We can find ourselves struggling with despair and even a sense of hopelessness.

As we consider the verses from Matthew in our current context, what an amazing comfort we find! The Father watches over and cares for even the simple sparrow. If God our Father takes such care about every sparrow, wouldn’t he do the same and more for you and for me… the ones who are so important to him that he even knows every single hair on our heads. (Wouldn’t you like to know that number?)? When he made the world, Adam and Eve were created differently from all else in creation. God himself breathed life in Adam. His love and care for people was there from the beginning and continues for us today. His promise of Jesus was there as Adam and Eve were ushered out of the Garden of Eden. His promise was kept at the manger, at the cross, at the empty tomb, and as he ascended back to heaven.

Don’t be afraid. Alone, those words have little impact. Yet when combined with God’s promises, they become powerful words of comfort. So when you see a small sparrow, be reminded that the Lord watches over each of them. And if he cares that much for this seemingly ordinary little bird, it’s hard to imagine how dearly he cares for you and for me. So don’t be afraid.
Hard things are part of our life. Know that in it all, God keeps his promise to be there with you and with me through it all.

Dearest Father, there are so many challenges in our world right now. It can be hard to avoid fear and worry. Help me to remember to keep my eyes on you whose love and grace for me is indescribable. As your child, keep me close to you and encourage me to reflect your love to those around me. In your name I pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider:
Sometimes keeping a list or journal can help when things are hard. Consider making two lists: one with those things about which you are concerned. Be sure to continually check that list and note when things improve or are solved. But also make a list of the blessings all around you. Especially in difficult times, the blessings are still there. Note how God can use each struggle and challenge in ways that draw us closer to him.

Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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