God's Mindfulness of His Redeemed People
George Everard, 1885
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 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
The spirit of the age is to put God far away out of man's sight. By many, He is regarded as unknown, and unknowable. By many more, He is treated as a mere abstraction, as One dwelling in a far-off, inaccessible region which it is impossible for man to approach.
But in the teaching of Holy Scripture it is the very reverse. God is very near. Unseen by the natural eye — He is yet present to the keen eye of faith. He is Your loving Father. He is a very present help in time of trouble. And we learn, in this passage, the particularity, the individuality, of God's care. The very sparrows, shot down by thousands in Palestine, are remembered by Him. Not one is forgotten.
How dear then to His heart, are His own redeemed people!
Chosen by the Father,
redeemed by His Son,
renewed by His Spirit —
they are the sheep of His pasture, His own beloved children — as near and dear to Him as the apple of His eye.
In a large school of three or four hundred boys, and no less in a smaller one, there is many a lad depressed by a secret burden of loneliness. You are but one in a crowd, and no one may have any deep interest in you. You may be without any special friend. More particularly at the beginning of school life, the loss of home ties, and the strangeness of all those with whom you are now associated, may prove a very great trial. But here is the very help you need. There is One who does care for you, for you individually, and for everything that concerns you.
Think how He cared for Hagar in the desert, when she was all alone and seemed ready to give up all hope. Think of Joseph as a slave lad in Egypt, and how God guided him every step of his life. Think of Elijah threatened by Ahab — and yet so watchfully fed and guided by Jehovah. Think of Manasseh in the dungeon, Nathanael under the fig-tree, Onesimus, the runaway slave, in Rome — and see how God mercifully looked upon each of them and showed that He was mindful of their need.
Nor is the individuality and tenderness of God's care less now in this nineteenth century, than in days gone by. The Good Shepherd knows by name each of His flock, and our Heavenly Father has a place in His heart for each of His redeemed children.
Do you confess your faults and trust in Your Savior? Do you desire to forsake evil and to follow the path of holiness? Then struggling believer, know that God cares for you, even for you, and loves you with an everlasting love. Your name is engraved on the palms of His nail-scarred hands — and when those hands are stretched out to protect and to bless, you can not be forgotten. When others scorn you — He smiles upon you. When the storm is high and your heart is overwhelmed — He is at hand to shelter and to support you. Even when your foot has slipped and sin has come in — He will not cast you away, but will gently rebuke you and then graciously forgive and heal.
But for your comfort remember another point. God's care for you reaches to the very least matters. "Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered!"
With the Omniscient and All-wise God, there is nothing small or great. And on that which seems to us the smallest — often the outcome is the greatest. The falling of a leaf, the flight of a bird, a casual meeting, a whispered remark, a note of music, a letter from a friend — may change the whole current of life, and for weal or woe may affect every moment of our future. Therefore be persuaded that no concern of yours is too small for your Father's eye and a Father's love.
Bring God into everything. The very least anxiety that weighs upon you — you may roll upon Him. He will not despise it. The very least ache or pain of mind or body is a part of His loving discipline, and will do its work the better if brought to Him. The heaving of a sigh, the dropping of a tear, the unuttered desire and longing of the heart — He marks and considers.
Be as a little child with your Heavenly Father. Rejoice that with filial confidence you may bring all that concerns you to His mercy-seat. Your home trials, petty annoyances from those about you, the wearied frame, a nervous temperament, something in the house or in the shop that disturbs your peace, which you have reckoned scarcely important enough to name on your knees — tell it out in your Father's ear, and leave it to His merciful and wise ordering!
"Just to leave in His dear hand, little things,
All we cannot understand, all that stings.
This is all — and yet the way
Marked by Him who loves you best,
Secret of a happy day,
Secret of His promised rest."
Frances Ridley Havergal