“I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top” (Psalm 102:7)
The sparrow is one of the most common birds on earth. Wherever you go you will be sure to see and hear them. The sparrow is a cheerful little bird and it is only really happy when it has company. But in Psalm 102:7 we find a lonely sparrow. The Psalmist, usually so joyful in the Lord, is feeling depressed, distressed and forsaken. He feels just like a lonely sparrow.
The Christian life is not easy
Though the Christian life is blessed, it is not easy. Jesus did not promise us a life free from sorrow. Adam’s sin has made this world a sad place to live in. Sickness, suffering, disease and death touch everyone, and God’s people are not immune from such things. As believers we have the added burden of the Christian life in a fallen world. It has been given to us to shine as lights in the darkness, and sometimes this means we have to suffer for standing for the Lord. “For to you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
An imperfect church
As Christians God blesses us in more ways than we realise, and in more ways than we deserve. We have the blessing of fellowshipping with other believers in Christ. But no church or individual Christian is perfect. We often find that other Christians misunderstand us, oppose us, and do not want to be with us. There are many believers who feel like lonely sparrows on a rooftop in our churches.
An imperfect world
It is easy to become discouraged in the Christian life today. We see the world around us becoming more and more greedy, violent and immoral. Godlessness seems to rule our nation. When we speak out against sin the world thinks we are insane. Those who have been zealous for the Lord have always found that they are on their own. It is easy to become downcast and depressed at such times and feel like the sad and lonely sparrow on the rooftop. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Our faith ought to be steadfast in the Lord, even while undergoing trials and persecution, for in this way we bring honour to God. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11).
We should remind ourselves that we are precious in God’s eyes. The sparrow is not blessed with outstanding plumage, and in fact is hardly considered by men. Jesus said: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” (Matthew 10:29). Sparrows are not really worth much according to the world’s standards. Likewise many may not think much of God’s people and mock and mistreat them. Yet Jesus says to us, “ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). We are so precious to Him that He willingly spilt His blood to save us. “Ye are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
We should remind ourselves that God knows all about us. God cares for even the tiny sparrow. Jesus said: “One of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29). Think of the millions of birds and other creature in the world, God remembers them all. He watches over everything in His creation, but especially He watches over His own children and delivers them in their time of trouble. Jesus says to them, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). God does not forget us, not even for one minute, and definitely not when we undergo trials. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
We should remind ourselves that we are going to live with God forever. As Christians we mourn while we are in this world, not only because of the sin that we see in others but also because of the sin that we see in ourselves. God chastises us for going astray, but soon we will lay everything to do with the flesh aside. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
We are being prepared for Heaven, and it is there, not before, that “God shall wipe away all tears from (our) eyes” (Revelation 21:4).
One day we shall look back and understand all the way which the Lord led us. Yes, there will be countless times when we feel like a sparrow alone on a rooftop as we await the moment we see the Lord face to face, but let us continue to remind ourselves of just how precious we are to the Lord. We are never away from His presence, care and concern. He knows all about our every need and fear, “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8) … “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). We are never lonely if God is with us!