Irish robins are some of the most beautiful birds ever created. They are the stuff of legend, illustrating holiday cards, children’s books, and referenced countless times in literature. Unlike their American cousins, these robins are smaller, plumper, more vibrantly colored and almost Disneyesque in nature. They are exceedingly precious. Admiring the robin on the front of an old Christmas card from a family member in Ireland, my mind flitted from the Irish robin to the American sparrow. I love sparrows, they too are plump and pretty though much less striking. The thought of sparrows got me thinking about how God cares about the little things in our lives.
Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
Which got me thinking about the flowers…
Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …
Which got me thinking about the brakes.
The other day, my husband needed to bring our car in to get the brakes fixed. It really was not the most opportune time as it is an expensive job and I haven’t been able to work. It had been driven longer than he’d wanted and he was nervous about the eventual cost. Sitting next to my son, I began to pray, “Dear Lord, please help the brakes not cost more than X, please help them not cost more. Please help there not be any extra cost because it was driven too long,” and on and on until suddenly it occurred to me to change my prayer. “God please, let there be a coupon, a discount or even a sale on brakes, amen.” My son looked on in silence.
The next morning we got the dreaded phone call from the mechanic, “While working on your car I noticed a bubble on the sidewall of each of your front tires – they need to be replaced. I’ll run it through your tire insurance. and by the way, there is a sale on brakes – half price.” I called out to my son, “Do you remember last night when I started praying for the car? Well, they just called – there’s a sale on brakes!” He was about to walk out the door to head off to school but stopped to say, “That’s awesome, Mom. When I heard you praying, I prayed too.”
The whole experience filled me with gratitude and also a twinge of reproachful sadness. Growing up with a single parent, my mom probably confided in me a lot more than she would have had she been still married. It made me acutely aware of all our struggles and also of God’s provision in our times of need. I thought about my own children, had I shared with them enough about how God had provided for us time and again? Because I had a partner, I hadn’t shared nearly as much with my own children because I didn’t want to burden them. As soon as the other kids came home after school, I told them too. I rattled off the verses about the sparrows and the lilies of the field. I explained again that if God cares about flowers and wild birds so much – how much more He cares for us.
Whether it’s a $20 blown up on to the curb when I was dead broke and had no way to get home or buy food, a random gift from a stranger, a sudden arrival of fantastic hand-me-downs, a call when I was lonely or broken, a warning from the back seat, or a forced break so that I could spend time with someone I loved before she died, God has provided for me. Thanks for Everything Always!