The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The art of trusting

Christians fasten their trust onto the biblical promises of God

I f you've ever wondered whether birds sleep at night, rest assured they do. They don't enjoy the same dead-to-the-world snore that many humans do. But they do sleep. By necessity their sleep is on the light side as they keep an ear alert for danger and often one eye open for predators.

Birds sleep well thanks to a little flexor tendon that automatically tightens in their leg when they land on a tree branch. It's a tiny tendon that runs down the leg and into the toes, which in turn curl around the configuration of the branch.

The beauty is that the bird doesn't even have to think about this tightening to make it happen. It occurs involuntarily. The tendon only relaxes when the bird consciously lets go.

The capacity to sleep with true peace of mind is one of the best things going for our little feathered friends. No wonder Martin Luther could speak of God "making sparrows into theologians." It's their carefree way of unconcerned living that caught the eye of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, and later Luther's own eye.

Spiritually speaking, we have something akin to this miniature tendon found in birds' legs. It is called trust — trust that God is with us and for us both day and night.

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February issue


Embracing diversity