Just Ask the Birds
God is not distant or unreachable. He is not remote or unaware. He is, instead, close. Personal. Near. Concerned.
This is precisely what Jesus was communicating to his disciples when he illustrated God’s intimate knowledge of and care for them by talking about birds and flowers (Matthew 6:26-30). He succinctly stated that “your Heavenly Father feeds them [the birds]” and then rhetorically asked, “Are you not of more value than they?” The answer? Of course you are!
When telling them to consider the flowers of the field and how God dresses them so beautifully and faithfully, he again rhetorically asked, “If God so clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you…?” The answer? Of course he will!
Jesus ends his simple, down-to-earth illustration with this comforting assertion, “Your heavenly Father knows…” (6:32). What a powerful promise on which to stand: God knows!
I find it amazing that things as simple as sparrows and lilies were used by Jesus to teach us such deep things about God. Specifically, that God is close, concerned, aware, and responsive. He is near, attentive, dependable, and intimate. These words describe why we are theists and believe God has a personal relationship to his creatures.
Jesus’ teaching also forms the basis for why we are not deists, the false understanding that God does not intervene in the affairs of his creatures nor is he interested in interacting with them. While one could show this to be untrue through theological argument and debate, I like the way Jesus clarified it: through simple analogy and pictures.
If you’ve ever wondered if God knows, if he cares, if he acts, if he is moved, take a look outside. Nature overwhelmingly tells us God does know. He does care. He does act. He is moved. He is the one God who has made everything, and the one God who relates to it all perfectly. Intimately. Personally.
Yes, God is one and he knows each one of his children.
Just ask the birds.