God Will Take Care of You . . .Like He Takes Care of Sparrows

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“God Will Take Care of You.”  

The words to this popular hymn were written by Civilla Martin and put to music by her husband Walter. There is an interesting story behind this hymn. Walter had been scheduled to preach, but Civilla was ill, and he didn’t want to leave her home sick. Their 9 year old challenged his Dad by asking, “Father,  don’t you think that if God wants you to preach today, He will take care of Mother while you are away?”  Walter was inspired by his son’s faith, and kept his preaching engagement. Returning home, he found his wife Civilla was improved, and had also be inspired by their son’s question. She had written the words to this song, and in a short time, Walter put it to music. It was published in 1905 and became one of the best loved hymns of the 20th century. Source: https://www.sermonwriter.com/hymn-stories/god-will-take-care/

Here is a link to this hymn. (start at the 13 second mark.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdZ7RdF07Eo

Here are the lyrics. Source: https://hymnary.org/text/be_not_dismayed_whateer_betide

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Refrain:
God will take care of you,
Through ev’ry day,
O’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

2 Through days of toil when heart does fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you. [Refrain]

3 All you may need he will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you. [Refrain]

4 No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon his breast,
God will take care of you. [Refrain]

This is a very pretty, soothing song. I like it. A lot!

I really wish that could believe it was true, but I don’t, and that makes me feel very sad. But this hymn concisely gives the message that fundamentalists teach and it is a huge lie!  The lie is very pervasive, and connected to every aspect of your life. Here’s how this works.  .  .

Premise: God will take care of you (total generalization, without defining what the phrase ‘take care’ really means or how it will play out in our real lives.)

If I take this at face value, then to take care of someone would be all inclusive. It would include God looking out for our physical safety, meeting all our financial needs in a timely basis, (including our future savings needs for when we cannot work), taking care of our relational, emotional, spiritual needs. In fact, if we believe that God is taking care of all our needs, and combine this belief with the following verses from Matthew 6, where Jesus clearly teaches us not to worry about our future, but to focus on knowing Him, then the teaching morphs into the idea that we really don’t or perhaps even shouldn’t take personal responsibility to put aside money for our futures, save or invest money since God has said that He knows our individual needs, He will personally watch over us, care for us, and meet our needs. Here are the Scripture passages. . .

Matthew 6:19-21  Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6&version=NIV

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Psalm 18:1 – 3 KJV  

18 I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

1 John 3:1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Romans 8:15 – 17

 

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Now, as usual, let’s talk reality.  What does it mean that God ‘will care for us?’

He certainly didn’t care for Paul’s safety or health over the course of his many journeys. Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, thrown into dungeons, and finally killed.

God didn’t protect Peter from the ugly death of crucifixion.

God allowed John the Baptist to survive being boiled alive in oil, then live out his days on the island of Patmos in exile.

God isn’t taking care of my parents financial needs; the government combined with us children are actually taking care of them. There was no ‘magical salvation’ that compensated for their lack of financial planning, nor is there any miracle forthcoming to relieve my father of his daily pain.

God never showed up to help me save my marriage, or miraculously give me healing to fix myself to overcome addiction, selfishness, nor did God give me or my lovely ex-wife a change of heart. There is nothing on this front except utter lonely, despairing blackness and excruciating pains of loneliness and guilt.

God did not leap in and give our family enough money to meet our needs, let alone any thought of the word ‘abundance’. That word was for rich people, but not us.

God has never done any verifiable, observable miracles of healing. . .no, those stories are all third hand in a foreign country or from a past historical time.

So if you tell me that ‘God will take care of you’, I will tell you that I will take care of myself, as I always have, but without the delusion that an invisible ‘god’ somehow is watching over me, taking care of me so I don’t have to even think about planning ahead in any way, like most normal folks do.

And that is where the hurt hits!

If I believe this lie, then I will not think I have any pressing need to save up money, learn how to create wealth, or make any concrete plans for my future. In fact, I will most likely think that approach is ‘not trusting in God’, and is rebelling because I am trusting in myself, and not God.

And not planning, not making preparations to take care of myself, and not be a burden to my loved ones equals walking around with a target on my back that says, “Hit Me!”  And life will indeed catch up with me and oblige my message. This is living a lie and living inside a delusion.

Because reality is that God does NOT take care of you, or ‘make everything right’. You have to take care of yourself by being smart, networking with other people, and educating yourself to live the best life you can.

That’s reality.

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