The robin and the sparrow

Said the robin to the sparrow:

“I would really like to know

why these anxious human beings

rush about and worry so?”

Said the sparrow to the robin:

“Oh, I think it must be that they

have no Heavenly Father

such as cares for you and me.”

(Author unknown)

I don’t know if there are many people like me, but on the last night of the year, I always have a fear of what the new year might bring. Every year, many people all over the world lose their life, or the lives of one or more loved ones, or their home and life savings due to calamities; hurricanes, all-consuming fires, destructive floods, car/train/plane accidents, or violence by a fellow human being. Not to mention a variant of COVID-19, which will no doubt continue to take lives this year.

  I lost a brother just five months ago. He was seven years younger than me. Unlike me, he was a cheerful and fun-loving extrovert; always outgoing and friendly. the life of every party and family get-together. There was always more fun when Mario was present. He was more popular and had more friends and acquaintances than I, an introvert, will ever have. He had made funeral arrangements for all already-departed family members and I was looking forward to him doing the same for me. But alas, that was not to be.

  I was shocked by the suddenness and unexpectedness of his departure. I was working at home on my computer one afternoon in July when my phone beeped. My first reaction was to ignore the beep as it beeped multiple times a day and I did not want to be distracted from my work.

  After all, the message would still be there after I got through working later that night, or even the following day.

  However, my gut told me to read it now. After trying in vain to ignore my gut, I decided to read the message. It was from my sister and it read: Mario is down; please pray. Still not too alarmed, I asked her how serious it was, and the reply was: very serious, please pray. I immediately got on my knees and pleaded with God for His mercy. “Please let him live and not die.” A few seconds later my phone beeped again. “Mario is gone; he is in God’s hands.” Needless to say, I was speechless. It will take a long time for it to dawn on me that he is really gone. Family get-togethers will no longer be the same without him.

  The tragic death of a 13-year-old girl on the very first day of the new year has weighed very heavily on my heart over the weekend. It will be on many minds for a very long time to come. Forever entrenched in the minds of the families and loved ones involved. Please pray for both families, the victim’s family but also the family of the offender. Both families are suffering. May God help them to be strong and comfort them the way only He can.

  God tells us in His Word that five sparrows were sold for two pennies, yet not one of them is forgotten in His sight; not one of them falls to the ground without His knowledge. Don’t be afraid, He tells us; He assures us that we are worth more than many sparrows.

  So, in spite of our fears, (mine go away after two or three days) let’s not worry about what the new year might bring. God loves us no matter what happens in 2022. Even if we don’t see the end of the year, it is comforting to know that He is the God of the living and the dead.

  I am appealing to all who read this to make a serious effort to spend more time in God’s Word this year. May God put in every heart an insatiable hunger and thirst for Him and for His Word. The best thing I can wish everybody for the new year is spiritual growth and a closer walk with our Lord. Nothing else in life matters.

Clive Hodge