The sovereign Father and the persistent momma bird!

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Momma Bird's Nest Yes, it’s a dying petunia we have hanging up over our back patio.

A dried up, intentionally left plant that reminds me of God’s sovereign timing and the trust of a little ordinary sparrow.

Mike and I love birds and as soon as we moved into this house in March, we hung up our bird feeders. Our new house backs up onto a disc golf park and greenway.  Big shady trees housing many birds hang over our postage-sized back yard, satisfying us with a feeling of the spacious outdoors.

But not one bird came to the ‘table’.  Maybe that’s how Jesus felt when his banquet invitees provided excuses for why were choosing not to attend the readied feast!

Mike and I asked God daily to direct his birds to our feeders.  I even enjoined my friend Jill in the UK to pray !  FINALLY…..they flocked.  We rejoiced, thanking God for the gift of observing and savoring these happy feathered members of creation.

So….. you would think, that when a momma bird chose my hanging petunia to construct her nest, I would have felt proud to aid the cause of providing for the next generation of birds.

Sadly for momma bird, my miserly side dominated.

By July in Alabama, the plants we had first put out in late April had withered with the heat.  So I replaced some of my flowering hanging baskets mid July. Now here was this bird choosing one of the new pots to feather her nest.

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to water the petunia any more, I removed her construction work, throwing it away.

Two days later when I set the hanging basket down to water, I saw the new nest.  I tossed it in the trash as well, reasoning that this bird would soon get the message and build her nest somewhere else.

I was not counting on her determination to stay put.

She built a 3rd nest. It, too, went the way of the others.

And then God! Immediately I thought: ‘I bet this bird SENSES her body about to lay those eggs! She must feel desperate to have a safe place for them, one where she and they can be out of sight and protected. AND I HAVE INTERVENED 3 TIMES, to the potential possible murder of baby birds!

I repented and prayed that she would persevere yet again.

And praise Jesus, who loves his creation, she did build yet another nest, a FOURTH time.  I was so relieved.

She was just in time, for the very next day, she lay her eggs.  Whew!

All I could think about was how much stress I must have caused that little bird just because I wanted to save $12.99!

But God rewarded my repentance with some valuable, illustrated lessons, such as:

  • His control of all events including when the Holy Spirit pinged me, bringing forth my repentance IN TIME for that momma bird to lay her eggs
  • The example of perseverance in the cause of life, the next generation of baby birds
  • The reality that being in God’s will does not block hardship.  That bird was doing what He created her to do – prepare for and care for family.  Despite huge obstacles and persecution – ME!!!

Momma Bird is still there; the babies haven’t hatched yet.  Even when they grow strong enough to fly off, I might keep that dead petunia on my back patio as a reminder.  Our LORD and Savior doesn’t waste a thing.  Definitely worth the $12.99

Luke 12:24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!

Matthew 10:31 Fear not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

How many hairs do I have on my head?

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Hairs are numbered

Big deal – so God knows how many hairs I have.  I’ve never understood why Jesus even bothered to say that?

But this week, all of a sudden, Jesus’ words as recorded by Luke stopped me cold.  I realized that I myself don’t know THAT fact about my hair.  What else don’t I know about myself? And what kind of God must our creator be to have that kind of detailed knowledge?  And if he is always aware of the minutia of my life, then he must be intimate with everything else about me, to include the really big stuff.

Suddenly it made sense that God cares enough to keep up with everything about me.  Don’t I care about what I fashion? Don’t I feel a sense of pride and affection and a close bond with my grown sons?  And I didn’t create them, I ‘merely’ raised and loved and taught them.

I like this now, that my heavenly Father knows even the tiniest FACT about me before I ever notice.  That feels like love. And in the preceding verse (Luke 12:6) he even says that I’m way more important than sparrows. And the level of care he shows to these common birds is phenomenal.  Not a single one is “epi-lanth-a-no-mai” – that is forgotten, neglected or uncared for.  If that is how our heavenly Father takes care of the animal kingdom, then how much more valuable am I or are you?

Hmm….so how should I treat my neighbor, whom this same God also created?

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