Friday, June 17, 2016

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

I overheard a conversation the other day between two people who were discussing the number of mutual friends who had died recently. They were talking about the rise of cancer among their acquaintances; a number of accidents; and one who had died of “old age.” But the comment that stood out to me the most was when one of them said, “Yeah, it seems they’re dropping like flies these days.” Now, this is an old expression I’ve heard many times, that simply means there are a lot of people becoming ill or dying, all at the same time. But the phrase struck me in a peculiar way this time, because I happen to know a number of people suffering with late-stage disease, and I’ve seen firsthand how they suffer. Flies seem a poor comparison for the precious people in this condition.

If I were to speak of my beloved friends dying, I think maybe I would say they’re dropping like sparrows:

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.—Matthew 10:28-31

No matter how many people pass on from this earth, they are all precious in the Lord’s sight. Jesus died so that not a single person should perish apart from him, but that all would have eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). When a dear brother or sister passes from this earth, I am sometimes envious of their new home. It causes me to think of heaven, of Christ, and of eternity.

When we suffer, not knowing how long we will have to endure, we do dream of heaven, and long for home. It is such a comfort to know that the Lord knows every moment of pain we experience, and will not allow it to go on one moment longer than it has to. This precious passage about the sparrows is a great encouragement to me as I watch several friends endure “terminal” illnesses. If the death of even a sparrow is known to God, imagine how He attends when one of His precious image-bearers suffers and dies. What a great and loving Father we have!