Don’t you love these verses:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12: 6-7 (NIV)
That just blows my mind (doesn’t THAT phrase date me?!). So, just how many birds does God not forget (I Googled the question and here is one answer): “…in 1951 ‘Fisher, a British ornithologist, estimated there are more than 100 billion individual wild birds in the world’…” (from DOE’s Newton site)
- So, back in 1951, God could remember 100 billion wild birds, not to mention the domestic ones.
The current world population is estimated to be 7.07 B (thanks, Wiki). Several sources indicate that that the average head sports 110,000 hairs. I tried to figure out how many of those 7.07B heads are pretty much bald and couldn’t get a conclusive answer, so I’ll guess 10%.
- That means that today there are about 693,693 billion hairs God has numbered. I can’t remember how to write that in an exponential form or how many trillions that is, but it’s a lot (anyone want to give the correct numeric notation in the Comments?).
[As an aside, I hope you are impressed that I just spent the last 15 minutes engaged in this very important research.]
The point is: God can keep track of an awful lot, so I don’t have to fear He won’t keep track of me. I’m on His radar.
And later on in this Luke 12 passage, Jesus expands on this topic, discussing exactly how God will care for us – using birds again for the illustration, along with wild flowers (or lillies) and grass.
Jesus argues from the lesser to the greater that if God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers and fields, He can handle our basic needs. And, no, I am not Googling the number of flowers or leaves of grass.
So, why worry?
Why stress over the basics? Jesus points out that worry accomplishes nothing anyway (it doesn’t add an hour to our lives – vs. 25).
I understand that there are situations in which people go without food and clothes, but this passage seems to promise that God WILL take care of our basic needs because He knows them (vs. 3o) and will meet them if we seek His kingdom first (vs. 31).
I’ve spent a LOT of time worrying about money the last few years because of job losses and stock market tanks and inadequate health insurance, failing to remember that as I seek God’s kingdom – seek to do His will on earth as it is in Heaven (best I can) – that He’ll take care of the basics, maybe not the fancy vacation or the new technogadgets, but food and clothing.
After all, there are 693,693 billion counted hairs to prove God can handle our needs.
Today’s Readings: Joshua 17:1-18:28, Psalm 45:10-17, Proverbs 14:6, Luke 12:1-31. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).