We are concerned about many temporary outcomes in this world, and yet we are unconcerned about eternal ones. Is it possible we have the wrong perspective?
The Long or the Short of It
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 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 10:28-31, NIV)
A Different Look
Have you had a bad week? Are there times when you feel under the pile, alone and neglected, and you’re just not feeling it? There are two things that jump out of this passage, and both of them have to do with perspective. In order to consider that, I think you have to start by putting perspective itself into perspective.
A woman named Edith was at the deathbed of her longtime husband Ralph. He looked up at her and said, “Edith, I remember playing football in high school and breaking my leg. You rushed over from the cheerleading squad and you were right there with me. Then, later in college when I almost flunked out and quit, Edith, you were right there with me. And when we got married and started our own business, and it failed, you were right there with me.
And now here I am in the hospital, with a bad heart, and Edith you are right here with me…” He paused, and his wife lovingly squeezed his hand. Then he finished. “Through all of these things, you have been with me every time. You know, Edith, I’m beginning to think you are BAD LUCK!”
Sometimes in life, how you look at things makes a very big difference in how you FEEL about things.
Jesus says that the way we look at things is wrong. First, he says, we are consumed with the temporary when we are participating in the eternal. Our perspective is wrong. Our spiritual life is far more important (and will last far longer) than our physical life, and yet where is our focus?
Do you spend more time each day taking care of your physical body—cooking and eating, drinking, working out, bathing, deciding what to wear, doing nails, applying makeup, doing hair, shaving, etc.—than you spend on your spiritual self? Change your perspective. Don’t stress over temporary stuff while ignoring the eternal stuff. Having made that point, Jesus then reminds us that we need to shift our perspective on what has value.
It’s in the Little Things
Small things matter. Intimacy matters. Jesus says that “the very hairs on your head are all numbered”, and that God is aware of what is happening in your life down to the smallest details. If that’s true, then we can take heart knowing He cares about us so intimately. Seeing things as God sees them can help change our perspective.
In 1905, Civilla Martin and her husband were visiting a couple named Doolittle in Elmira, New York. These friends were quite cheerful in spite of several afflictions. She says: “One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
In the hymn which Civilla Martin wrote that year it says, “I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” Jesus says that if God is aware of a tiny sparrow’s fall, then take heart: He values YOU, and He is aware of your afflictions as well.
When it feels like life is hard no matter what you do, It may not just be circumstance: it might depend on YOU. The Lord sees great and mighty things, and I know this is true: He counts the hairs upon your head. He sees the sparrow, too! You might think God doesn't know just what you're going through, So change your life by changing to a brand new point of view: His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over you.
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