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STORIES OF FAITH (4): HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW; HE WATCHES ME


Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.



“His Eye is On The sparrows, Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Civilla Durfee Martin (1866-1948) was born in Nova Scotia and died in Atlanta, Ga. In “His eye is on the sparrow” (1905), she has provided one of the most influential and often-recorded gospel hymns of the 20th century. 

Martin was the daughter of James N. and Irene Harding Holden, and was a schoolteacher with modest musical training. Together with her husband, Walter (1862-1935), they often wrote gospel songs for revival meetings. “Be not dismayed” (UM Hymnal, No. 130) is an example of their collaboration. 

Walter Stillman Martin was a Baptist minister who received his education at Harvard. He later became a member of the Disciples of Christ, teaching at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, N.C., before moving to Atlanta in 1919, a location that became the base for revivals that he held throughout the U.S.

The song was obviously inspired by Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Later in Matthew (10:29-31), the Gospel writer continues on this theme: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Similar thoughts are cited in Luke 12:6-7. Stanza two quotes part of John 14:1 directly, “Let not your heart be troubled...” 


Civilla Martin describes the context out of which the hymn was born:

 “Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle-true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheelchair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. 

One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s response was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome of that experience.”

The next day she mailed the poem to Charles Gabriel, a famous composer of gospel songs, who wrote a tune for it.

The themes of solace in spite of sorrow, and a profound sense of being under the watch-care of Jesus, who is a “constant friend,” offered the African-American community comfort during the Civil Rights movement.

The refrain seals the theme by offering an apology for singing-“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free”-words that would speak to everyone, all over the world.



NOTEWORTHY;

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW: 
Research shows that Sparrows are one of the most plenteous and common bird on earth. In fact there are fifteen different species of it in America alone. They are small, and they are not powerful, they are unimpressive, and mostly unimportant. 

While Jesus was giving a lecture on sparrows; He said are two sparrows not sold for a penny in the market. Showing that they are not really important birds. Yet God watches over them, not one of them is forgotten by God, He feeds them every day.
  
If God is doing this for a bird; how much more will He do it for His own children?

Mrs. Doolittle’s response was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ Even though she had been bedridden for about twenty years and her husband has been confined to wheel chair for a long time.

THEY HAVE A LIVING HOPE: 
Even though the situation facing them is one in which it can be subscribed to mean God has forgotten them, yet she believe God is there for them, God is finding a way out or working it out, and God is watching over them. 

THEY CONTINUE TO LIVE A HAPPY CHRISTIAN LIFE:THEY SIMPLY DO NOT ALLOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THEM TO TAKE AWAY THEIR JOY

They did not allow their challenges or test of faith to take away their Joy. One of the tactics the devil uses to take away believers confidence in God is by all means taking away their Joy. For a believer whose confidence in God has been stolen can easily yield to the devices of the devil. Noteworthy is the line in the hymn that says; I sing because I am happy, I sing because I am free…

No matter what we are passing through; the best we can do is to count it all joy. By developing a sense of God fighting all our battles or watching over us.

James 1:2-3
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

1 Thessalonians:5:16-18
 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In times of sorrows and pains; we should therefore be peaceful (in mind), hopeful, count it all joy, be confident in God and keep trusting that everything is going to work out for our good.

Romans 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Jesus make us to understand that, we are more important than a sparrow; if God watches and remembers all the sparrows there ever is/was, then we are definitely in the watch of God.

Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Conclusively God has not forgotten you, God is working it our for you. If His eye is watching over the sparrow, behold He's watching over you. 



GRACE TO YOU 

Storyline Source: GODTUBE

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