The Reason You Don’t Have to Worry
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-30
Mark Twain, the American humorist, once wrote, “I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened.” What Twain was saying is that most of the things we worry about never occur. Paul Myers, founder of the old Haven of Rest Broadcast, used to say, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”
It is true, you know. Far too many people have their peace of mind destroyed by nagging concerns that never fully materialize. Psychologists will tell you that worry is a form of fear, and fear is debilitating and paralyzing. When Jesus taught the multitudes, it was almost as if He could see to the depths of their hearts, with His thoughts penetrating the deep fears of their lives; and He spoke to the point.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record these words, which I share with you. Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell” (Luke 12:4-5). Jesus then explains why we must never be controlled by fear. He says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31). The words of Jesus were part of His comments as He sent out His followers into a hostile world that is no friend to God’s people. Here Jesus uses two analogies: one–the sparrow that falls to the ground, and two–the hairs of your head.
I have been privileged to visit a lot of corners of our old world, and almost everywhere you find people, with very few exceptions, you will find the common English sparrow–in Russia, China, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, as well as the islands of the sea. That lowly, not-so-beautiful bird, as plumage goes, is found almost everywhere. So, no matter where you live, you can relate to that little bird’s falling to the ground, whether it is frozen in a Siberian wasteland, or blighted by disease in an Asian jungle. Wherever the sparrow falls to the ground, God is aware of it, which reminds us that we are of far more value than a little sparrow.
The second analogy Jesus used to stress the care and concern of our heavenly Father is His knowledge of the hairs of our head, which in my case causes Him little effort. A scientist once told me that a single hair from your head can give all kinds of information about yourself. A single hair can tell if your hair has been bleached, dyed, or burned. It can tell whether your health is good or poor, whether your diet has been healthy, and a host of other things–all from a little piece of fiber thousandths of an inch or centimeter in diameter.
“So don’t be afraid,” concludes Jesus; “you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). How much is a sparrow worth? How much value does a single hair from your head have in relationship to the rest? God is aware of both. Really dumb, isn’t it? “God is in control!” we say, yet we still worry our heads off. We just have not come to the place whereby we believe what we say.
May I suggest that you make a note of the passage I have shared with you, and that you read it, and mark it in your Bible. It is Matthew 10:29-31. You may want to do what my wife has done: type it out and carry it in your purse or wallet; or, better yet, memorize it and write it on your heart.
Resource reading: Matthew 10:15-33