"Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's notice."
Matthew 10: 29, Amplified Bible
Expectation #4- The person will care just as they say they will care. The key word is: Responsible.
"Responsible" -- Being legally or ethically accountable for the welfare and care of another. Involving personal accountability. Reliable. Latin meaning: to respond.
What qualities do I think of when someone is described as "responsible?"
"The whole secret of abundant living can be summed up in this sentence: ‘Not your responsibility but your response to God's ability.'"
Carl F. H. Henry
"God cares, God is concerned."
This past week there was a very stormy day where I live. Rain fell fast and in torrents. Around our house, all the little streams were flowing fast and full. When the rain finally let up, I decided to check things outside for myself. As I opened our front door, what caught my eye was a large male quail. Right now, we have many mom and dad quails with little babies living around our house. I put grain out for them so I know this encourages the families to call our property home. What struck me about this quail is that he was sitting on the top of a big pot I have which is on the top of a rock wall. From his perch, this "dad" quail could survey everything that was going on around his family members who were scratching for food below. This is not unusual behavior for quail. In fact, quail have been observed looking out for each other so often there is a name for the quail that accepts the responsibility of watching over others - they are called, "Sentinel Quail." It's as though this beautifully feathered bird is the sentry - with watchful eye and attentive ear. I wish you could hear the sound the "Sentinel Quail" makes if danger appears in the form of a human or other predatory creature. The cry is like a loud alarm and is so piercing, the quail who are in the open, run for shelter so fast it's hard to believe.
Every time I see one of these "Sentinel Quail" standing guard … taking responsibility for the other members of its family … I think of how God referred to Himself as a mother hen protecting her chicks and as an eagle flying over a nest of babies. God could easily have said, "I am a "Sentinel Quail." I am the responsible, watchful parent who looks out for you. I alert you when someone who isn't looking out for your best interest invades your space.
Isn't that what a "responsible" parent does? They protect, shield, watch, care, and look-out for those they love. They accept responsibility of those in their care.
But there's one more thing. As you and I recognize the blessing of having the care of our "Sentinel Quail," we will also want to care for those around us, too. As Fay Valentine wrote, "God cares. God is concerned. And since God is concerned, His people have an obligation to be concerned, too." Those around us will never care what we know, until they know that we care. This thought has been perfectly expressed by John Jowett who noted that, "The gospel of a broken heart begins with the ministry of bleeding hearts. As soon as we cease to bleed … we cease to bless."
When Jesus was on earth, I love the way, He too, watched the birds that were flying in the sky or seeking food on the earth. In fact, Jesus made several references in His teachings to the most common birds - little sparrows. What I especially take comfort in, is that Jesus used these birds to remind us that if He takes responsibility for the care and feeding of sparrows - He will put even more care and concern into us.
If you ever feel that no one cares for you … that no one has ever been responsible to be there for you … then go outside and find a sparrow. It won't be too hard, I hope. When you see this bird, remember God takes responsibility for this little feathered wonder. And if you are fortunate enough to find a "Sentinel Quail" standing guard over his family, remember God is the responsible sentinel standing guard and protecting His family, too!
In 1905, a lady named Civilia Durfee Martin was visiting friends named the Doolittles. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for 20 years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to use a wheelchair to get around. Despite the problems the Doolittle's faced, they exhibited constant joy and Mrs. Martin inquired how this could be. Her friend, Mrs. Doolittle replied, ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.' It was from this line that Mrs. Martin, a music teacher, penned the words to the beautiful hymn, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow."
While most of us know the more common first verse of this song, it is the second verse that reminds me of the responsible care God provides to you and me everyday:
"Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When song gives place to sighing,
When hope within me dies.
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me."
How thankful I am that my Heavenly Father is a person of His word. When He tells me He will care for me - He does. He is responsible for His children whom He dearly loves.
"If you're going to care about the fall of the sparrow, you can't pick and choose who's going to be the sparrow. It's everybody!"
My Master and I
"I cannot do it myself
the waves run fast and high
And the fogs close chill around
And the light goes out in the sky
But I know that we two shall win in the end
My Master and I
I cannot row it myself
My boat on the raging sea
But beside me sits another
who pulls or steers with me
But I know that we two shall come safe into port
My Master and I
Coward and wayward and weak
I change with the changing sky
Today so eager and brave
tomorrow not caring to try
But he never gives in, so we two shall win,
My Master and I."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
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