Growing up, I remember my Dad taking every overtime opportunity he could get to make a little extra money. When he became sick, my Mom took a job to carry the insurance, and the two of them modeled a work ethic which is hardly seen today, but I’d like to believe it was inherited by my brother, sister, and I. My parents made sure we never went without.
Years later when I became a single mom, Rory was two and I was pregnant with Ian, and I worried how in the world I was going to make it. I waitressed a couple of days a week until I could finish school, and then I worked from home doing medical transcription for many years before becoming an RN. I typed every extra report I could listen to. I’d get up at 4 a.m. and transcribe until the kids went to school, and when the reports ran out, I’d panic. There was a time when we were running out of work frequently, and I called my boss asking if I should change my hours around, and her response was, “Rita, can’t you go find a toilet to scrub or something?” and we laughed. I needed to quit worrying, but instead, when I wasn’t taking advantage of the time to clean my own house, I found other homes to clean for a little extra cash. I was always worried about how we would make it.
What was funny, was that when my kids and I would stop at traffic lights and see all the birds lined up on the telephone wires, I’d ask them, “Hey, what do you think those birds are talking about?” and we would make up funny stories. I had no idea how meaningful those moments would become in the future.
Fast forward a few years, and a woman named Sharon in my Bible study shared Matthew 6:26 with our class, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” She went on to tell us that her husband had been laid off from his job but insisted that they continue to tithe while he was looking for work. A full year went by that he hadn’t worked, and each month when she sat down to pay their bills, she was worried. There were more bills than there was income. She’d go over and over and over the math, trying to figure out how the bills all were paid and there was money left over, when the income was less than the outgoing bills.
I remember Sharon laughing and saying, “Ladies, God uses a completely different calculator than we have on our phones. Don’t try to figure Him out. Just be obedient and do what He tells you to do. He loves you more than the birds, and He cares for them, doesn’t He?”
I never quite looked at those birds on the telephone wire the same way again, and Matthew 6:26 quickly became one of my favorite verses. I still remember her telling that story every time I stop at a red light because, let’s face it – the birds are always up there just sitting, aren’t they?.
Looking back over the two decades of caring for my sons by myself, it’s all pretty obvious, really. My calculator doesn’t work like His. He loves me more than the birds, and they don’t look the slightest bit worried, so why should I worry? He loves me more than He loves those birds up on the telephone wire! None of us ever went without. Ever! Sometimes His provision was supportive parents and family, other times His provision was a busy Mom who needed their home cleaned. Like Sharon, on paper, nothing made sense, on my Iphone’s calculator, nothing added up.
But in light of Matthew 6:26, it makes perfect sense!
Trust Him to provide for you, because you can. He loves you more than the birds of the air. And the next time you’re stopped at a red light, look up and ask yourself, “Do those birds look worried about where their next meal will come from?” Neither should you worry.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 ESV
The pictures in this blog are cute little artsy crafts my friend Amy made for me as a reminder that God loves me and has always provided for me. I’ve currently got a couple of shelves I’m putting together to go on a wall in a special place in my home with one of the pictures, and I’m so excited to hang it! I’m also going to start giving these as gifts to single parents as a reminder of God’s love for them.
Amy made them out of sea glass, and if you’re interested in any of her work (including other pictures with Petoskey stones), she can be found on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/amy.wasilkowski