“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).
Eight-year-old Abigail learned a powerful lesson of the intimate care God has for his children while visiting George Müller’s orphanage. One day, while strolling through the garden with Müller and her parents, the matron of the house approached and said, “I’m sorry to interrupt sir, but the children are seated for breakfast but there is no food in the house. What should we do?”
George Müller and his orphans were accustomed to God providing for their needs in unorthodox ways. Without so much as a bead of sweat on his brow or a tired sigh, George called Abigail to his side and said, “Come here Abigail and see what God will do.” George went to the dining room and found 300 children standing in neat rows behind their chairs. In front of each child was an empty plate and cup.
Abigail whispered, “But where’s the food, Mr. Müller?”
“God will supply,” he confidently replied.
Then he prayed a simple prayer in the presence of all the children and staff. “Dear God, we thank you for what you are going to give us to eat. Amen.” No sooner had the children sat down, than a knock came at the door.
Bread & Milk from Heaven
It was the town baker. He had been prompted at 2 o’clock in the morning to get up and bake bread for the orphans. His truck was full of trays of piping hot bread. What miraculous provision! But the bread from heaven needed something to wash it down.
A few minutes later a second knock came at the door. This time it was the milkman whose cart had broken down outside of the orphanage. He needed to lighten his load in order to make the necessary repairs and didn’t want the milk to go to waste. “Could the orphans use the milk?” Like the loaves and fishes that multiplied by the hands of Jesus by the Sea of Galilee, there was more than enough bread and milk for every child and leftovers for lunch.
A Funnel for God’s Work
What makes this story of God’s providential care even more amazing, is that early in his ministry, Müller promised himself would never ask for money from anyone. He committed that he would solely rely on God through prayer to take care of his and the orphans’ needs. George kept his promise, and God, of course, kept his. In his lifetime, nearly $1.5 million pounds (or about $200 million today) passed through George Müller’s hands as he fed, clothed, housed, and educated over 10,000 orphans, and established over 100 Christian schools in Bristol, England.
Rich Toward God
George Müller understood what it meant to be rich toward God. He spent his life, laying up treasure in heaven. When Müller died in 1898, his estate was valued at only 160 pounds, which was mostly comprised of the value of a few pieces of furniture. Müller’s life and legacy is an example of restful dependence on God to do what he promised to do…take care of us.
Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).
If God cares for even the most inconsequential details of his creation, like the birds, will he not more take care of us?
Eyes on God
It is estimated that there are between 50-430 billion birds on earth, and the most abundant of the species is the sparrow. For all the billions of sparrows and every other bird, not one is forgotten or unseen by God. If God knows that kind of detail about the sparrows, including when one falls to the ground and dies (Matthew 10:29) does he not also know what you need, O you of little faith?
Friend, today you might be wondering if your needs matter to God? After all, there are 7 billion other people on earth, and your needs might feel small and insignificant in comparison. You might feel like your needs aren’t like George Müller’s, and therefore, they are less important. But that is not so. You are known and loved by God. He cares for the sparrows, but he has uniquely set YOU apart as the object of his love and care.
- No bird was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
- No bird was ever designed to be a joint heir with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17).
- No bird ever received the inheritance of eternal life (Ephesians 1:11, Colossians 1:12).
- No bird ever had a place prepared for it in heaven (John 14:2).
- No bird was given the promise of hope, joy, and peace (Romans 15:13).
- No bird was ever given the promise of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11).
- No bird was promised access to the Father through the Son (Hebrews 10:19, James 4:8).
- No bird was reassured of God’s love for and intimate care over their lives (Luke 12:31).
- No bird has ever be instructed or counseled in the way they should go (Psalm 25:12, Psalm 32:8).
- No bird has ever rejoiced that its name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
- No bird has ever received the promise of future glory (Romans 8:18).
Prayers of Giants & Sparrows
Little eight-year-old Abigail never forgot the lessons of God’s providential care she learned at George Müller’s orphanage. It made such an impression on her that she ended all her prayers by saying, “Please God, take care of this as you do for George Müller. Amen.” God delights to answer the prayers of his saints. Not just the prayers of those who seem to be giants of the faith like George Müller, but the prayers of little sparrows like you and me. Pray on friends, God hears, and God knows.
“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” ~ George Müller
P.S. George Müller made it his practice to make his soul happy in the Lord every day. He understood the pursuit of holy leisure better than anyone. It starts with setting up a practice of being in the presence of the Lord. Download this guide to get started today.