Loading the laundry machine, I heard the skittering of little claws on the tin roof above. Our machine was outside, behind our kitchen, and the sound put me on edge. Earlier that morning, we were awakened by rats scampering in our attic space, which was disconcerting to say the least. It was the first week in our new rental house, and we were discovering the quirks that came with it. Quirks that I was struggling to live with. I hurriedly shoved our dirty clothes into the machine, dumped detergent in, and ran inside as fast as I could. Would it be like this every time I had to do laundry? I couldn’t imagine cringing my way through this process almost every day.
A couple days later, I walked upstairs and stopped at the window that overlooked the tin roof. I had heard the same sound and wanted to stare my fear down. What I saw, though, were not the rats I was expecting, but birds, pecking at the seeds that had fallen from our neighbor’s jackfruit tree. Their tiny feet hopped around the roof lightly. As I watched them, I could feel my perspective shift. What I had perceived as one of my greatest fears, were actually harmless birds scrounging for food. The next time I had to do laundry, I marveled at how different the sounds above felt now. I still couldn’t see what was on the other side of the roof, but I knew the truth.
I had to pause and consider what I was letting myself hear in other areas of my life. Did I listen for the rats or did I listen for the birds? When I heard the rats, I was filled with worry and fear. Things seemed bleak and almost impossible. I had a hard time trusting that God was in complete control. But, when I listened for the birds, a wonderful thing happened–I could see His hand in everything. I could trust that we were taken care of even when I couldn’t see what was ahead of me.
In that house we battled rats constantly, real and figuratively, and it was easy to get discouraged. If living overseas taught me anything it was that I am not self- sufficient. God created us to need Him and that is shown over and over, isn’t it? We often doubt, though, that He will indeed take care of us, especially when we have to deal with so many trials and stresses.
Jen Wilkin gives us the reminder that, “Our greatest need has been dealt with once and for all. How much more will he supply all our lesser needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus?”
The lesser needs can seem so big, but He who is all-sufficient is more than able. My youngest son likes to sing the chorus of a song by Jason Gray called “Sparrows.” Every time he sings it, I am reminded to look for the birds instead of the rats. This week, may we give thanks that even the sparrow knows God’s sufficiency.
If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field nor flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow knows
He holds tomorrow
There’s not a single star that’s out of place
There’s nothing broken He can’t remake
If you long for hope when you’re afraid
Oh look at the sparrow
Look at the sparrow
Are there sounds in your life that you have misheard? How have you seen God change what you are hearing?