Do you ever feel small? insignificant? Unimportant in God’s schemes? Does it seem that you go about your every day, doing your job but making little contribution to what really matters in life? As if you are a walk on in a major movie event? I do.
But while I often cry out feelings of worthlessness, guilt and inconsequence in my prayers, I rarely admit them out loud to the world. It’s just too hard to face in a society that demands action, perfection and success at every turn. And so my outward public face is often very different from the emotions that challenge me when I am alone.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:31 to “fear not, for you are of more value than many sparrows.” This passage is kind of strange. I mean, the sparrows described throughout the gospels really did exemplify the most insignificant of birds. Two were sold for a copper coin – less than a quarter today. They were used for sacrifice to those that couldn’t afford the more prestigious goat or lamb.
Even today, sparrows aren’t worth much. They are easy prey for cats and other birds. They multiply quickly and many consider them pests. Nobody visits the zoo or bird santuary to get an up close view of a sparrow. If you watch a bunch of sparrows, there isn’t anything really exciting about what they do. They fly around and eat seeds and insects-basically just carry on with their normal day.
Why didn’t Jesus tell us we were more valuable than a soaring eagle, or a rare species of parrot? I already feel more sparrow than eagle, so what comfort does it give to know I am more valuable than a sparrow? That’s kind of like being picked second to last for the kickball game.
I think the truth Jesus is trying to bring home to us is that in God’s eyes, NO ONE is insignificant, including the sparrows – and including you. And we can all serve God’s purpose. But we shouldn’t try to carry out that purpose by masquerading as an eagle or a parrot if we aren’t. We can make a difference for God just by being the best we can be in our normal, everyday sparrow outfit. And that’s not small, insignificant or unimportant to Jesus.
Luke 12:4-7The Voice (VOICE):
Listen, My friends, if people are trying to kill you, why be afraid? After you’re dead, what more can they do? Here’s whose opinion you should be concerned about: the One who can take your life and then throw you into hell! He’s the only One you should fear! But don’t misunderstand: you don’t really need to be afraid of God, because God cares for every little sparrow. How much is a sparrow worth—don’t five of them sell for a few cents? Since you are so much more precious to God than a thousand flocks of sparrows, and since God knows you in every detail—down to the number of hairs on your head at this moment—you can be secure and unafraid of any person, and you have nothing to fear from God either.
Susan Lee is the author of several Christian Living books including God’s Law of Attraction: The Believer’s Guide to Success and Fulfillment, Developing Patience and Perseverance in an Impatient World and her newly released Devotionals Reflecting on God’s Power: What the Bible Teaches Us About Praise, Forgiveness and More. All are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format, and are part of the Kindle Unlimited program.