I was privileged to attend a small Christian university. At the beginning of every semester, regardless of the subject, my professors began their new classes with a reminder of God’s creation. My chemistry professor enthusiastically announced we would be amazed at how God had constructed the atom. A calculus professor started his semester telling us that math demonstrated God’s order in the universe. Even the fine arts professors would introduce their topics by reminding us that God knitted each individual together before anyone else even knew they existed. The authors whose works we would read were graciously knitted together with talents for communicating ideas through the written word. Studying under godly professors gave me an appreciation for learning subjects with an eye toward how each fit into God’s creative plan.
One of my retirement goals was to get back into college to study subjects that had always fascinated me. Ornithology was on my list. Birds are so diverse and so numerous; scientists are still working on categorizing the eleven thousand known species. The sights and sounds of birds are a beautiful part of God’s order. Birds have been remarkably designed with vision, hearing, touch, and smell senses that surpass that of humans. Some birds can see ultraviolet wavelengths, and some, like eagles, can see four focal points that they watch at once. Certain owls can catch a mouse in total darkness, guided only by their hearing. The sandpipers’ bills are so sensitive that they can detect differences in pressure when they probe mud to sense things before even touching them. Many birds use an acute sense of smell for navigation. Others can sense the magnetic field, read the stars, track the sun, and hear infrasound as part of their navigational skills.
Luke calls our attention to birds in chapter 12: “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (v. 24). As much as I have been in awe of the birds I have studied, I am reminded in this verse of how much more in awe I should be of those God made in His image. I love the phrase “how much more” as it applies to God’s design and care for his people. In His infinite wisdom, God created a variety of people – some beautiful to the eye, others plain. Some with talents to take complicated subjects and teach them to children, some who can visualize the construction of a new building or bridge, some who listen well and encourage others, and some who navigate life by following God’s word and sharing it.
Matthew 10:29-31 tells us “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” So, we can be assured that all things, from the way we are personally and uniquely designed, to the talents God has granted or withheld, to the challenges that we face daily, to the sufferings that come our way, are from God’s Providence and we have no need to live fearfully. He cares for us in such detail that he knows our problems, our desires, our inner most thoughts and even the number of hairs on our head. God’s design for us is good and He delights in giving us good things.
The phrase “how much more” is also found in Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” God gives us the best gift of all, the Holy Spirit to be with us, comfort us, guide us, fill us with joy, and give us wisdom. We have every reason to find joy in all things He created for they are good.
Lord, as I look at your work in creation I am in awe of your goodness. I see your care for the birds of the air and I am reminded how much more you care for me. Thank you, Father, for your lovingkindness. Thank you for giving us your Spirit so that we need not live in fear. Thank you that in your creative plan you sustain us on a daily basis, and we can know “how much more” you love your people.
About the Author:
Sharon is recently retired from a career first as a chemist and then as a regulatory affairs consultant to the medical device industry. She has served on the women’s ministry team at Grace Presbyterian Church in her hometown of Yorba Linda, California, and has worked as the west coast regional advisor for the PCA. Her husband, two married daughters and two married sons are all engineers, who provide interesting technical conversations for a dinner table. Sharon is working on completing her bucket list which includes raising orchids, attending culinary school, bird watching and traveling. She has three baby granddaughters and is looking forward to the new grandson coming soon.