This leads me to an observation: Off and on throughout the morning the sparrows have been landing on my window sill to eat the seed I put out for them. After three or four bites they crane their necks to glance inside. Without hands to shield their eyes, it is all to no avail. I can see them, but they can’t see me. As nearly as I can determine, they do not seem any more anxious about today’s cold than they were with yesterday’s relative warmth.

Below the window sill, in the flower bed, the pansies seem unaffected by the colder-than-normal temperatures enveloping North Texas. Their colors are as vibrant today as they were five weeks ago when the landlord planted them. They do not worry about God’s provision; they bloom where they are planted.

Isaiah wrote, “Say to those with anxious thoughts, ‘Take courage, fear not.’”

And I would add, consider the sparrows and the pansies. If you do so, they will bolster your courage and arm you against worry because they are tangible, simple testimonies that God is sufficient for them and will be for you as well.

Determining to believe God and not yield to worry is not synonymous with sticking your head in the sand. It is wise to assess the circumstances in your life and consider the challenges you may face.

Given the implications of our world today, this is an arduous and somewhat intense undertaking. Such is the nature of the problem.

Fretting, losing sleep, worrying, or yielding to anxiety does not help. Not only do these responses not add a single moment of comfort for you, they do not answer the challenges before you or take into consideration the promises of your Heavenly Father to care for you.

Plan, yes. Contemplate—consider, yes. Evaluation is appropriate. Worry, no. Be anxious, no. God’s consolations are before you.

The world may spin completely out of control, but it won’t kill the sparrow on your window sill, uproot the pansies in your flower bed, or diminish God’s determination to take care of you.

So, take courage.