Last week as I was pulling out of my neighborhood to go to work, my neighbor, who is retired, was taking a walk. I was actually running a little bit early (shocker, I know), so I stopped and rolled down my window for a quick chat.
He told me that he was having some tests done that day to see about the diagnosis of an enlarged heart. He had told me that he was a bit anxious about it. Listening to the birds that were totally singing to us that morning, I told him that when I am anxious about something, I listen to the birds and think of the verse that says:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
Look at the birds. God totally provides for them.
Hearing the birds, I can remember this command that Jesus spoke to not worry.
I told him that I would be praying for him, and that while he finished his walk, to just listen to the birds.
When I got to work, I told my fellow preschool staff at our morning prayer time about this conversation of listening to the birds.
Little did I know that I would need this very same advice for myself just a few short hours later.
Nine days before this particular day, I had changed up the way I had been praying for my dad’s recovery from his massive stroke 16 years ago. I started praying that my dad’s life would be rescued from the pit that was narcotic drug use for pain relief. You see, his doctor had chosen to manage his pain in this manner for the past 9 years. This put my dad in a viscous cycle of sleep, wake up to take meds, go back to sleep. There was not a whole lot more to this daily routine, which had been troubling me greatly, hence the change in prayer.
Things had been building in the past 2 weeks, as my dad was trying out ways to get more. More pain killers, and not just oral meds, but going to the hospital for IV meds. This was not him. This was addiction. I could not understand how a doctor could keep writing this prescription month after month after month for nine long years.
I encouraged my mom to get a plan in place. I knew that something had to give.
It was on this same day that I had encouraged my sweet neighbor to listen to the birds, that my dad had tried another “stunt” to get more. My mom called me to let me know that she and my dad were both ready for the help that is rehab. Within a very short span of time, he was packed and admitted into a rehab facility by that afternoon.
This is a hard thing, especially since the initial phase is being cut-off from the world, and since my dad has stroke-induced aphasia, he could not effectively communicate what he was going through when we were able to talk to him.
I had to trust strangers to my dad’s care.
I had to trust that he didn’t feel alone or abandoned.
I had to listen to the birds.
This happening was an answer to my prayer, but it is the very beginning of a long road. So, I’ve got to trust God. God already knew what that day held for me. For my mom. For my dad. This turn of events did not take Him by surprise. And, is my dad not worth much more than the birds?
God will take care of him.
God will take care of my mom.
God will take care of me.
God will take care of you.
We’ve just got to trust Him to do so.
And my neighbor? His test results showed no enlarged heart. Praise be to God!
Do you hear the birds?
Lord, You are an amazing provider. You take care of the birds, who do not sow, reap, or gather into barns. How much more will you take care of us? Lord, please keep me from worrying by helping me to remember this promise. You let me know over and over in Your Word, that if I call to you, come to You and pray, that You will listen to me. I will seek and find You when I search for You with all my heart. (Jer. 29: 12-13) Lord, take my whole heart. Take my life. For this is my offering. It’s all I have to give, and it’s all Yours. Amen.
Click here to hear my current favorite song, “Offering” by Third Day.