“I’m supposed to have the reindeer paper!”
Tears streamed down her cheeks; my 7-year-old folded her arms and stomped out of the room.
I spent the day wrapping gifts. Every year, each of my 4 kids picks their own wrapping paper so I don’t have to use tags. After school, they scurry under the tree and hunt for another gift.
But I accidentally wrapped Meghan’s in the Christmas tree paper.
When I was wrapping, I noticed tiny silver sparrows on each tree. Sparrows are a special sign between God and I.
After 6 years of infertility, the constant reminders of my barrenness exhausted me to the point of anger. When I heard tiny sparrows chirping in a tree, and remembered how God said he cared about each one—knowing when one sparrow fell out of a tree, I let God in on my frustration.
“I don’t believe it, God! How could you possibly care about a little bird, when you don’t even care about me enough to answer my prayer for a child. I’ve dreamt of being a mommy since I was a little girl!”
A few hours later, I opened my Bible and Matthew 10:29 stared right back, highlighted in bright yellow. My anger melted in the embrace of my Heavenly Father’s love. The same love that would remind me of His daily presence in my pain—little sparrows perched on a limb; in picture frames, calendars, notepads, mugs, decorations, and yes, even wrapping paper.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 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 (NIV)
I placed my hands on my daughter’s angry shoulders and told her there was something very special about her paper.
My daughter loves to give me gifts representing her love—like the colorful snowflake keychain, “to remind you of my love” or the special crooked cut-out heart, “to remember me by” or “The Book of Us” as mother and daughter mermaids, frogs, horses, and bees.
I could tell her heart was softening, but her body wanted to stand in its stubborn stance.
“Mommy loves sparrows. I even have a special picture daddy gave me with Jesus holding a branch with little birds on it. Daddy gave it to me for our anniversary when I didn’t think I could be a mommy. Do you want to see it?”
Her stubbornness refused, but I could tell she wanted to say yes.
A few seconds later, she grabbed my hand, “Mommy, take me to that picture daddy gave you!”
I read the verse to her:
“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?” Matthew 6:26
The next day, we were Christmas shopping and Meghan spotted a purse with a bird on it. “Get this, Mom!” When it was time to write Christmas cards for her teachers, she snatched the cards with a golden bird on it.
As I look back on my life, there have been some difficult times when I felt like God was giving the best to someone else.
And like my daughter, sometimes I fold my arms when life doesn’t turn out as I think it should–times when I question His love because I can’t see the beautiful path He’s preparing for me.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Whatever you are going through–whether it’s financial stress, marital struggles, illness, waiting on a diagnosis, my prayer is that you would notice the sparrows, and remember that God has not forgotten you. Just as He knows when one sparrow falls from a tree, He knows your situation. He loves you. And He promises to take care of you.
Do you need prayer this Christmas? Leave your request and I would love to pray for you. You’re welcome to encourage others as well.