Devo for May 13th, 2020

From: Tim Sanger

 

I thought I would share a devotional that I read a few weeks ago by Paul Tripp.  Tripp is a respected author and speaker.  I’ve enjoyed his books through the years.  Tripp writes.

 

Here’s a mind-boggling figure:  scientists estimate that in the United States alone, 13.7 million birds die every day.  It’s a seemingly random and rather unpleasant statistic, but when I came across it, my heart was deeply encouraged.

 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your father.” (Matthew 10:29, ESV)

 

There are hundreds of billions of birds in existence around the world today.  Almost all of them have no monetary value whatsoever.  Apart from a handful of endangered or noteworthy birds, we don’t track these creatures, name them, care about them, or know them.

 

But their Creator does.  He is in control over every aspect of their life:  their birth; the color and quantity of their feathers; their nest; their breeding; their migration; and ultimately, the time, location, and manner in which they die.

 

Think of all the technology, human resources, and coordination that is required for us to track the relatively few planes that are in the sky every day.  God is in complete control over the flight paths of every single one of these hundreds of billions of birds.

 

This reality alone should be unbelievably reassuring.  No matter how it looks at street level, your world is not out of control; no, it is under the careful administration of the Creator who has the wisdom and power to be the great Author of it all.

 

But that’s not enough; Jesus takes the comforting illustration even further: “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  (Matthew 10:30-31)

 

By grace, you are now the adopted child of the One who has this immeasurable control.  As his son or daughter, you are far more valuable than any bird.  This means your heavenly Father exercises intimate, personal, and specific control over your life for his glory and your good.

 

Discovering peace in difficult times is never accomplished by measuring the size of your strength and wisdom against the size of your trouble.  No, rest is found when you compare the size of what you’re facing against the Creator of the heavens and earth.  By grace, he is your father wherever you go.

 

Whatever you are facing today, meditate on Matthew 10:29-31.  Ask God to remind you of his power, presence, and promises.  And then get up and live, with courage and hope, in light of this truth!

 

Here’s a poetic mediation that Tripp wrote in light of the coronavirus and Matthew 10.

 

It swept us up,

Unseen, unexpected, unwanted,

Disease, destruction, death in its path.

Confused and separated, we try to analyze

What we don’t understand,

Try to conquer what is bigger than us.

Fear sets in,

Denial offers temporary peace,

Numbers rumble upward, hope weakens.

 

Then we remember, this isn’t the worst,

This isn’t the biggest,

This isn’t the most fearsome.

There is another disease, most don’t see it,

Most deny it, no human can defeat it,

Everyone is infected with it.

There would be no cure

If not for the Savior, willing to come,

Face the plague, die alone,

Broken, weak, forsaken,

So that there would be a cure,

Ours for the taking, no money needed,

No line to stand in, bring only one thing,

A heart ready to believe.

Receive your healing,

Rise, live again.

 

I took the dog for a long walk tonight after I cleaned up the dinner dishes.  It was a great time to talk to Father.  I shared my day with him and what was on my mind.  We talked about my challenges, my joys, my family, my concerns, and my prayers for others.

How do I stay motivated Lord?  How do I stay encouraged?  How do I encourage others?  How do I lead Father?  How do I re-imagine ministry in light of the pandemic?  How do I offer hope and encouragement to my daughter who is looking forward to her last year of college with the possibility of not being able to return to school this fall?  How do I be a good father and a Godly husband?

Then I remembered Paul Tripp’s devotional I read a few weeks ago and the message of Matthew 10.  I don’t need to worry about these things.  Jesus tells me that my Father knows when a sparrow falls to the ground and the number of hairs on my head.  My Father is powerful, present, capable, and loving.  God’s got all of this.  My only job is to lean into him and to trust him.

God remind me of your power, presence, and promises.  Give me the courage to get up and live with courage and hope in light of this truth!  Amen.