In late February I set out for a two week day vacation to New York followed by Israel. It seemed that each step of trip, I got news that would rock my world. It started with the day before I left for New York. Then the night before I was to leave New York, I received more devastating news. And then the morning following our arrival in Israel I received more bad news. Each of these are someone else’s story, so not mine to share publicly, but they broke my heart and rocked my world as a mother, a mimi, and a spouse. Being separated and not there physically for those I loved made the feeling of brokenness that much deeper.
I had saved and planned for over a year, and the trip had been postponed from November to February. I was there with a dear friend, and we both called it the trip of a lifetime. I settled in my mind that I would enjoy the trip and focus on being in the present instead the brokenness I could do nothing about.
Sitting on the sea of Galilee six days into our trip but the first morning in Israel, I felt so broken surrounded by people I didn’t know at all. Our tour host shared how Jesus has spoke “Peace” to the storm on that very same sea. He shared more, but I just wept. I prayed with three other ladies, not sharing all that was on my heart, but just speaking peace into each other’s lives and the storms that we were each facing. Then such a wave of peace came over me. That peace that surpasses all understanding. It has not left, and at times as people as how the circumstances are, I have to remind myself why it would be a question because my peace is so real.
Throughout the next eight days, I kept seeing sparrows, and I knew that God was watching over me and all of my family. I would smile. This passage kept coming to mind,
“Therefore, don’t be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered and nothing hidden that won’t be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:26-31 CSB
Nine days later we were coming back to even more turmoil as the CO-VID19 had started shutting areas down. I realized that God had protected us even there as we had planned to go to the Church of the Nativity but it was so packed with tourists that as a group we decided to skip it. They had shut down Bethlehem to tourists as we left Israel. Within a week of our return, they were shutting down New York and New Jersey. We were almost oblivious to the events that had taken place while we were gone surrounding the rest of the world.
Sitting at the airport, during our layover to return back to our local airport, another little sparrow flew right under the table sitting next to me, inside the international airport! I realize that when we are looking for it, God will show up in the smallest of ways in our brokenness to remind us, His eyes are on us. He will take care of us.
A few weeks after I returned, I was sitting in prayer and heard this song His Eye Is On the Sparrow. My mother-in-law used to sing this song at church decades earlier, it was the only time I had ever really heard it. As the reality of all the brokenness that surround our world tried to press in on me, the presence of the Lord surrounded me so tangibly. It was just another reminder, God has it handled. Even if you have heard this before, I would encourage you to listen to this version. There is hope found in the message of the lyrics, and an anointing in the singer and the music. It has been my go to song for a few weeks now.
This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel. I have been a little sidetracked is it is almost May, but I wanted to finish!