As soon as Jolene opened the door to the home improvement store where she worked, she cried out, “Morning!” to any who would listen. Immediately, melodic voices answered in song from their nests two stories high. Later, during store hours, the birds would perch on patio sets and canvas umbrellas to charm customers.
“How life like!” bird-lovers would exclaim. “Imagine real birds in this setting! I wonder if they are included in each purchase?”
Under a dark, icy, crisp sky that grew colder each day, staff member Jolene wondered, “Why haven’t the birds headed south for the winter?” While she worried about her own crises, she added her concern over the birds. They wouldn’t survive outside. It was too cold to commute far away to the warmer places.
But this group of smart sparrows knew a good thing when they saw it. Though employees thought of the drone of the forklifts as noise pollution, the sparrows sang cheerfully above the pre-dawn sounds of moving pallets and boxes.
“Why, hello!” Jolene said aloud when one sparrow strolled down the aisle between bathtub displays. He chirped a greeting in reply.
Choosing their new aviary months before, the birds had set up homes and raised families in nests two stories off the ground. Only a peck away in shrink-wrapped packages, the flock dined on many combinations of seed as the specialty items at a gourmet restaurant. During the cold months, they were warm; the hot months they were cool, plus perks also included music, people, attention, and fresh flowing water from the fountains on display.
While the birds enjoyed the good life, Jolene worried. A painful injury, major home repair expenses, relationship crises, staff cutbacks, family illness, and financial challenges—became all part of her daily struggle.
Jesus’ own words assure us that God the Father will take care of us as we focus on his kingdom and ways. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” [Matthew 6:26-27 NIV]
But Jolene and all of us can learn from Jesus’ words. Where in our hearts is the rightful place for worrisome issues? In the background – right behind God.
The promises are powerful in this passage. We can trust God to take care of us no matter what we are facing. For are we not more valuable than the roly-poly sparrows who sing to the store staff each day?
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]