During my time in India, I saw really intense and incredible things happen in the name of Jesus. Oddly enough, however, the most prominent I ever felt the presence of God was when we couldn’t even whisper His name.
We visited the slums next to our hotel for maybe an hour or so. It had to be a quick visit, and we certainly weren’t allowed to evangelize. It’s not that we didn’t want to, but we were asked to avoid bringing government attention to the Indian ministry we worked with.
As soon as we arrived, several little ones ran up to greet us and shake our hands. They learned our names much faster than I would have expected, and I’ll admit that it made me feel a little guilty about not being able to pronounce theirs. They followed us around asking for pictures, introducing us to their family members, and showing off their humble homes. I was blown away by the joy they had in a place that seemed so devoid of things to be joyful about.
I quickly fell in love with each of them, as any of us would, and when it was time to go, I couldn’t help but cry. As I was walking away, a boy caught me by my hand and just asked, “Gift?” I was extremely thankful that my sunglasses could hide the tears welling up in my eyes as I smiled and shook my head and said that I was sorry that I had no gifts. But that was a terrible, awful lie because I did have a gift. The greatest gift I could have ever given that boy, and I wasn’t allowed to share it with him.
Continuing to the bus, I felt so helpless. I was kicking myself for not being brave enough to break the rules, and I was mourning the souls of those children who might never know Jesus. As I walked, however, I felt love wash over me, and God whispered, “They are not forgotten by me.”
That whisper hit me right in the gut. How could I let my flesh steal my hope for those children? They are not forgotten! In Luke 12, Jesus shares the individual love God has for each and every one of his sons and daughters.
“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 worth more than many sparrows.” - Luke 12:6-7
There isn’t a sparrow on earth that has not been recognized by God. As pointed out by Jesus, a sparrow isn’t worth much at all. There are billions of them flying around. And yet, none of those billions of seemingly worthless birds go unaccounted for by God. We are proclaimed to be sons and daughters of the same God that knows every sparrow in the sky. If we are his family, if we are his children, is there really any doubt of his immense love for us? Jesus says the hairs on our heads are NUMBERED. If you Google, “How many hairs are on the human head?” you’ll find that the estimated amount is 100,000 hairs. If you’re like our team member Lance (balding), it’s probably a little less than average, but despite that, God doesn’t just estimate how many hairs are on your head. He knows. The God of the Universe knows when your hair falls out, when it breaks, when it gets burned off in the straightening iron. There is no doubt that he knows YOU just the same way he knows me and all of those sweet children in India.
It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t remember or pronounce their names. It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t brave enough to break the rules. God does, God can, and God will.
So on days that you feel forgotten or alone, remember that the God who created this gigantic and beautiful world, created you, and He knows and loves you more intimately than you could ever imagine. Take it from me: you are not forgotten by Him.