An Encouraging Statistic About Death
Here’s a mind-boggling figure: scientists estimate that in the United States alone, 13.7 million birds die every day.
It’s a seemingly random and rather unpleasant statistic, but when I came across it, my heart was deeply encouraged.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your father.” (Matthew 10:29, ESV)
There are hundreds of billions of birds in existence around the world today. Almost all of them have no monetary value whatsoever. Apart from a handful of endangered or noteworthy birds, we don’t track these creatures, name them, care about them, or know them.
But their Creator does. He is in control over every aspect of their life: their birth; the color and quantity of their feathers; their nest; their breeding; their migration; and ultimately, the time, location, and manner in which they die.
Think of all the technology, human resources, and coordination that is required for us to track the relatively few planes that are in the sky every day. God is in complete control over the flight paths of every single one of these hundreds of billions of birds.
This reality alone should be unbelievably reassuring. No matter how it looks at street level, your world is not out of control; no, it is under the careful administration of the Creator who has the wisdom and power to be the great Author of it all.
But that’s not enough; Jesus takes the comforting illustration even further: “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30-31)
By grace, you are now the adopted child of the One who has this immeasurable control. As his son or daughter, you are far more valuable than any bird. This means your heavenly Father exercises intimate, personal, and specific control over your life for his glory and your good.
Discovering peace in difficult times is never accomplished by measuring the size of your strength and wisdom against the size of your trouble. No, rest is found when you compare the size of what you’re facing against the Creator of the heavens and earth. By grace, he is your father wherever you go.
Whatever you are facing today, meditate on Matthew 10:29-31. Ask God to remind you of his power, presence, and promises. And then get up and live, with courage and hope, in light of this truth!
Here’s a poetic meditation that I wrote in light of the coronavirus, Matthew 10, and this past Easter weekend.
It swept us up,
in its path.
Confused and separated,
we try to analyze
what we don’t understand,
try to conquer
what is bigger than us.
Fear sets in,
denial offers temporary
numbers rumble upward,
Then we remember,
this isn’t the
this isn’t the
this isn’t the most
There is another disease,
most don’t see it,
most deny it,
no human can defeat it,
everyone is infected with it.
There would be no
if not for the Savior,
willing to come,
face the ultimate plague,
so that there would be a
ours for the taking,
no money needed,
no line to stand in,
bring only one thing,
a heart ready to
Receive your healing,
rise, live again.
1. Are you potentially spending an unhealthy amount of time or emotional energy analyzing the statistics of the current pandemic? What might this do to your spiritual meditation?
2. What are some other statistics or illustrations that you have heard or studied recently? (They could be related to anything) How can you interpret them in light of God’s Word and apply them to your life?
3. How has your lack of power and control been exposed in the past few weeks? Be detailed. How have you responded to that loss?
4. Have you been pondering death more often in light of everything surrounding you? What have you been thinking, or how have you been feeling?
5. Apply Matthew 10:29-31 to your current situation and relationships. How does this illustration address what you are facing? How does it comfort and challenge you?