Tuesday, May 22, 2018

“A Surprising Sadness”

"A Surprising Sadness"

    I accidentally killed a harmless brown snake today.  It made me surprisingly sad.

    Allow me to provide context.  I do not like snakes.  If I never encounter another one as long as I live, that will be fine with me (and after my action today, I suspect that snakes now likely feel the same about me).  Like many people, I find the slithering creatures to be a bit scary and somewhat discomfiting in their appearance and the way they move.  So, being sad about ending the life of the brown snake surprises me.  The event happened as I was using my string trimmer to remove a stand of monkey grass.  I didn't see the creature and impacted it enough to kill it.  Upon seeing what had happened, I experienced a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, again, despite the fact that snakes are not on my list of favorite creatures.

    "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matthew 10:29). 

    I find this statement of the Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His most intriguing pronouncements.  Clearly, God is emotionally invested not only in human beings, but in all His creation.  "His tendermercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).  Thus, when even one sparrow "falls," our Father is on the scene with tendermercies.  Again, what does this mean in terms of the Lord's actions?.  I do not know.  However, I am confident of this: such involvement says much about the heart of God.  Indeed, as much death as presently exists in creation, our Lord apparently feels the impact of all of it.  This must include a brown snake, whose death at my hand brought real sadness to my heart.  How much infinitely more must the fall of a sparrow or the demise of even a snake bring to the emotional sensibilities of God?  "But Thou, o Lord, art a God full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15).

    I don't know all that our Lord meant when He informed us that the death of a sparrow matters to our Heavenly Father.  But I do know that such truth reveals the nature and character of the One in whom we have placed our trust.  How wondrous must be His heart, and how He must grieve to see the death that is far from His perfect will and intention for creation. I could not have anticipated my reaction to killing a snake today.  But I can know how death affects God, as revealed in His Word.  Perhaps this is surprising also.  But in the light of the Lord Jesus and His redeeming work to swallow up death in victory, perhaps not (I Corinthians 15:54).

"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
 (I Corinthians 15:24-26)

Weekly Memory Verse
  "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18)


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