These tiny eggs tucked in to the strawberry patch in my garden hatched into birds that, according to the Bible, God cares about (Matt 10: 29-31). Matthew writes, “Don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Do you struggle to believe God loves you? Sheesh! I struggle to believe God likes me! Yet, if I am to take Him at His word, I must accept that He does.
I have been enjoying — more than enjoying; savouring — the writings of Angie Smith this summer. Her book Mended: pieces of a life made whole is rich with imagery and emotion and grace. Today’s chapter “He Loves You” offers hope to those of us who stumble into darkness from time to time and struggle to find our way out. Here is a portion:
I had gone through a very dark time in my life, and I was looking for Him, for answers, for a reason to believe He even cared, let alone loved me. Quite frankly, I wasn’t that worried about love. I just wanted to know I existed to Him.
Have you ever felt this way? I certainly have. Over and Over. Like me, you may not be a spiritual super hero. Like me, you may be an everyday Christian who makes mistakes, has regrets, messes up, tries again. What about us? Angie Smith offers hope for the rest of us.
Angie Smith continues to say that she was struck by the passage about the sparrow, couldn’t get it off her mind. While waiting on God for some kind of assurance that He cared about her and the number of tears she cried, she stumbled across an article about a type of bird that needed darkness before it could learn to sing. It’s cage had to be covered to block out the chatter of other birds before it would sing.
As she read those words, she says, I didn’t finish reading it before the tenderness overcame me. … More than a sparrow. More than the pitch-black darkness. He loves me. And in that place of feeling alone, unwanted, disregarded, abandoned, He whispered to my weary soul. “Sing, love.”
In the black night, I listened to His voice and I heard Him in a way I never had before. I stopped trying to focus on the silhouettes around me, panicked and desperate for my bearings. I accepted the fact that it might be a long while before I knew where I was and how to find my way back. Slowly I started to believe that He treasured me enough to trust my voice in the dark. Nobody watching, nobody to judge. Just me and the One Who told me I was worth it.
Angie Smith’s evocative testimony of experiencing God’s tender love in the midst of her personal darkness strikes a chord with me. When God tenderly pursued me during my long season of wandering through spiritual dryness and showed me the way out — learning to follow Him one yes at a time — I often felt like I was singing in the darkness, almost too afraid to hope that the God I had once known and loved was still the same, still loved me, still had a plan for me.
And He did. And He does for you too. Don’t let your darkness stop you from singing. Call out to Him. Don’t be afraid.