In this week’s chapters from our companion book, The Shepherds Wife, Pheodora reflects on a lifelong struggle with low self-esteem. While she believes God takes care of important people and situations, she is not so sure that God has time to worry about a shepherd’s wife and her problems.
Pheodora remembers a song from childhood. God doesn’t sleep on the job, but watches over us day and night. God is always by our side to protect us. So where is God’s deliverance for Pheodora, she wonders.
When news comes of Yeshua’s death, Pheodora recalls a conversation she had with her older brother as a child. “Everyone loves you,” he said, “especially me.” But if the news was true, her brother died on a Roman cross and wouldn’t be there for her.
Does any of this sound familiar? Do you sometimes wonder, particularly when everything seems to be falling a part, if God really cares about you? Do you worry and wait for more bad news rather than trust that God is at work on your behalf? Does it sometimes feel like Jesus died on the cross and won’t show up when you need Him the most?
While the backstories of Angela Hunt’s novel are fictional, we’ve all shared many of the same feelings her characters experience despite God’s promises.
After all, there are over 8 Billion people living on our planet, and the universe is larger than we can measure. Individually, we’re insignificant by comparison. Meanwhile, our planet is suffering from centuries of exploitation and abuse. And with damage from natural disasters occurring with greater frequency, God’s time is surely occupied with more pressing matters.
During the time of Jesus’ ministries, they still expected people to bring animals to the temple to sacrifice for special events and festivals. However, most persons couldn’t afford livestock to offer as a sacrifice so they purchased sparrows instead. Jesus said, “For only a penny, you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s consent.”
do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
Now the numbers get ridiculous. Googling the number of creatures, one source estimated over 20 quintillion. I didn’t dive into find out their definition of creature and I’m not sure I correctly counted the commas. But it doesn’t really matter how many, how much or how far.
Perhaps when Yeshua comforted Pheodora, He was thinking about the same song that she later recalled while feeling down.
Perhaps Jesus also had this song in mind when He assured us that God loves us and knows every minute detail of our circumstances.
By some estimates, low self-esteem affects 85 percent of us. That’s billions of people for whom this song can be a reminder that God thinks of them. During those times when you feel like the world doesn’t care about you, remember you matter a lot to God.
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A reminder that we publish this newsletter that we call the Circuit Rider each week. You can request this publication by email. Send a request to connect@FlintAsbury.org or let us know when you send a message through our website. We post an archive of past editions on our website under the tab, Connect – choose Newsletters.
Our series was inspired by and relies on content provided by Angela Hunt. The Shepherd’s Wife. Jerusalem Road Series. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2020.