This afternoon God sent me a gentle, small, but significant reminder to “be still” in His presence. A little sparrow took rest on our outdoor table and I noticed it as I glanced out our kitchen window. Realising it did not seem disturbed by the noise, like these little birds normally are around our place, I crept out with my camera to capture it.
When I began to take the photos, I felt as if it turned and looked me straight in the eye, not at all worried about my presence. While we often have many types of birds flittering in and out of our backyard, I knew there was something different about this one. It had a message, though at the time I did not know what it was trying to tell me.
Usually when the sparrows fly around, I immediately make the connection with Matthew 10:31, which says,
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
This time though, I felt like there was more to this visit than just a simple reminder that God was watching out for us.
Despite the end of the school term drawing near, I have been very busy. School demands are still present with many events planned for the last week before our holidays. At home, we have been considering selling our house and buying land to build on… all of which causes worry to some level due to the inevitable amount of unpredictability that comes with that situation. We have been spending much of our time planning, thinking, dreaming, wondering and while it is an important decision, it is just as important to let God in on that planning process. And what is one of the best ways to let God in? To just… be still.
Psalm 46:10 was one of my grandparents’ favourite verses. I remember it stitched onto a wall hanging in their house as a child.
“Be still, and know that I am God…”
My grandfather also used to have little birds visit his garden while he was tending to it, and I often wonder if God spoke to him as He has spoken to me through these beautiful little creatures, on many occasions.
This afternoon was no exception. As I took photographs of the little sparrow, I noticed it often had its eyes closed, as though it was resting briefly. When I returned home from church later this evening, I finally felt God open my eyes to its message. I had to be still… just be still and let God be God, and trust in Him.
The lyrics struck my heart deeply tonight…
“Be still my heart and know, You are God alone. Stop thinking so much and just let go.
Be still my soul and rest, humbly I confess, in my weakness, Your strength is perfect.”
I have always loved the Bible passage, 2 Corinthians 12:9,
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
As human beings we will always be weak. Some of us in different areas to others and some of us in different seasons of our lives. The one thing we can count on, is that Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness. In the very acknowledgement of our own failings, His power can work and be made perfect in us. As teachers, we may strive for perfection in many areas… the perfect classroom, the perfect lesson plan, the perfect class, yet that sort of perfection will always be out of our reach. Without Christ, there is no perfection, and to experience His perfect, unconditional love, we need to first be still to receive His presence.
The message from my little visitor this afternoon was reinforced when it flew up into the tree that was filled with many more sparrows, all sitting still and waiting. As I captured them in the beauty of the setting sun, I felt a peace fall upon me. A reminder that God was with me, even though I had forgotten to be still and seek Him out in the midst of my busy life.
So tonight, I pray that Christ will work in me, that in my stopping to acknowledge my weakness, of not trusting enough, of not letting go and letting God in, that through this recognition of my weakness, that He will work in mighty and wondrous ways… in all areas of my teaching and my life. As I lay my head down to rest, I know that I rest in His love and His grace, and that this is enough.