We feed the birds at our home (including the pair you see above, yes-- I took the picture). We keep a regular seed feeder full, as well as a thistle seed feeder for the species of birds that like that. In the summer we enjoy the visitors that a hummingbird feeder attracts. Usually in the spring we have at least one and sometimes two birds nesting somewhere close to our home. With the recent acquisition of a laptop computer, I can now sit on our second-story deck and enjoy the sights and sounds of the birds as I do my writing, as I am doing just now. While I tap on the keys that will put my ideas to paper, I can look up and see a bright red cardinal looking at me as if I am an intruder in his world. The gentle breeze brings the sounds of a noisy blue jay somewhere close, and I am fascinated as I watch as a nuthatch scampers up and down the trunk of a nearby tree. A ruby-throated hummingbird looks down from a nearby limb on guard lest someone invade his personal stash of hummingbird food. If I am quiet, for a moment a host of birds unseen join in chorus of song.
Apparently, in Jesus' days there were birdwatchers as well. He invited his hearers to take a look at the birds when he wanted to teach a valuable lesson. He stated that we should not be unduly concerned about the needs of the body. He then said, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye much better than they?" (Matthew 5:26)
If you are a bird-watcher let me encourage you to watch in a new way. If you are not a bird-watcher maybe this would be a good time to start. As you watch, drink in the lesson of Lord. He was stating that God provides for these creatures and He will provide for us.
There is one bird that we see on summer evenings that is amazing to us. It is the chimney swift. This little bird gets its name from nesting in chimneys and similar structures. It has slim wings and a nearly tail-less cigar-shaped body. They dart and dive to catch insects on the fly. God provides for its food. It can also manufacture a nest of twigs that is stuck to the side of a vertical wall. God provided what it needed to nest and raise its young. It also migrates in winter. These birds somehow can navigate from North America and spend the winter in the Amazon basin of South America! God has provided for its survival from the cold blast of winter.
I am sure that with a little research and thought you can develop your own list of amazing bird facts and wonder at the brilliance of God's creation. But beyond being amazed, be comforted. We must make a decision to take God at His word in our moments of worry and care. We must cease to make our problems the focus of thinking and instead focus on the God who cares for the littlest sparrow and even more for His very own children.
Next time you are out for a walk or gaze out your window or see a bird soaring in the sky, be refreshed at the thought of God's care and provision, for the birds and for us.
Pastor of Adult Ministries
© 2002 Bible Center Church
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(originally published in Hearing Ears, ©2000 Union Gospel Press, used by permission)