His eye is on the Sparrow
I have to confess to being sad sometimes. Sad about the things that are taking place in our world. Riots, sickness all added to the loss of my husband’s parents. Along with worries I have about my children growing up in this new normal. But the one thing that I can count on to help me feel joy is music. What a blessing God bestowed on us when He gave us the ability to sing. Only the birds of the field understand our joy in melody. Matthew 6:26 reminds us to
“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?”
Think of the happiness the sparrows must feel as they pour out their heart in a chorus of tweets and whistles. Their happiness can’t compare to the pleasure we enjoy when listening and singing to music. Not only because musical notes touch our heart’s, but prose paints pictures in our minds. Songs create images that can boost our outlook, they offer hope and comfort. As revealed in my last post, I am a word junky! I love the way language is used to express our inner emotions; and when they include instrumental music, we use our mind, body, and soul to share our state of being with each other.
Research has proven that music can reduce our depression and anxiety. The uplifting sound of sacred hymns with its positive or cathartic messages can help keep creativity and optimism levels higher. I believe when King David was a young boy, he knew the power of singing. I can imagine him sitting in the soft grass of a flowering meadow as his father's sheep grazed peacefully in the fields, as he sang softly about God and His love for us. Psalm 23 comes to mind, doesn’t it?
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Many of us are feeling like we are walking in the shadow of death, we have fears and wonder if we are alone. But I assure you we are not alone. The world would like you to believe that you are just a cosmic outcome of a big cataclysmic bang, here today and gone tomorrow. So, you better enjoy what and where you are right now because this is all there is. But that is not true. God made each of us and He cares about us. He wants to hear you sing out, to let Him hear the groanings of your heart.
Right after losing my mother-in-law, a wonderful friend sang one of my favorite hymns. It was so meaningful to me I broke down and cried right there in the front row of the church. As the pastor’s wife I work pretty hard at being upbeat, I feel it is my responsibility to help maintain a positive demeanor for our congregation, especially now. But that hymns message was so powerful I couldn’t help but be moved. Moved to tears of joy, not sorrow. The song was “His eye is on the Sparrow” and if you are not familiar with the lyrics, here is a brief sample.
“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Let not your heart be troubled, His tender words I hear.
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me,
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free;
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
I love this song and it holds a special place in my heart. A husband and wife who both had physical disabilities inspired it. Mrs. Doolittle was bedridden for twenty years; her husband used a wheelchair to propel himself to and from his business. Although times were difficult for Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle in 1905, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. The song writer was visiting with the Doolittle’s and asked them how they stayed so hopeful and exuberant. To which Mrs. Doolittle responded, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” It is human to feel lost in tough times, in times of grief, in times of worry, but it was impossible for me to stay sad after hearing these profound words.
This is the secret of it. Their joy was not found in peaceful days, open schools, and perfect health. They knew that true solace is found despite sorrow, and a sincere sense of being under the watch-care of Jesus, who is a “constant friend,” a friend who loves us like a brother. One who will be there for us when we feel discouraged. The simplicity of comfort we have when we remember the God of the universe who feeds the birds of the field, never forgets us, and in this realization, we can break into song. Carefree lighthearted joyful singing to the Lord in thankfulness. Sing like the sparrow who need not reap or sow, just sing!