I am sitting outside listening to birds chirp on this cool summer morning (coffee very near by, of course!) For whatever reason, maybe age, I am just enjoying observing creation this year. The white puffy clouds, the clean, crisp blue sky and yes, bird chirping, whom on prior summer mornings at seven o’clock, I would have thought about paying a teenager to borrow a bb gun. But, not this morning. I am sitting here, smiling, because of the creature God created.
The birds built a nest, not to my pleasing, in a ledge under a wooden car port in the back of my home. Yes, the ledge is right above where my husband’s car is parked, needless to say any more about the roof of the car! I couldn’t take the nest down, because by the time I realized it was there, little eggs were already in there. Sure I could have moved it, but to have moved it may have altered life that was held inside the fragile eggs that lay nestled inside the twigs and leaves that made up their nest. Several weeks went by as the children and I peeked to see if they had hatched quite often, and to our joyful delight, one afternoon we counted three baby birds. It has been quite an experience to share with them and each day the kids run out to see if they are there or watch the mama bird bring food to feed her babies.
However, this morning as I sip my coffee and converse with God, he revealed a beautiful picture to me, that I just have to take time to share.
A mama bird laid her eggs and tended to their needs before they were birthed. When they broke through the shell and finally breathed the air and it circulated into their lungs, they chirped life sounds. It reminds me of the people who nurture and care for those who do not know Jesus. Their words, their actions, and the time that they spend with non believers is like the mama bird who tended the needs of the babies while they were still in their eggs. Yet, when they were born, she was ready to deliver nourishment for their bellies. How ready, we as brothers and sisters in Christ, need to be when a non believer breaks through their barrier and breathes in new life. When that fresh breath of air, you know- the breath of God, enters into their minds and hearts – how ready we need to be to bring them nourishment to help them sustain in this life.
It amazed me, week after week, of watching these little feathered friends become strong enough to walk and bold enough to look over the ledge that has kept them safe all these days. I kept wondering when they would be “old” enough to fly, but the more I think about it the thought I should have is, I wonder when they will be “strong” enough to fly. Sometimes it may seem like we are ready, but are we strong enough to step off the ledge and try to flap our wings. There is only two things that can happen – I may fly or I may fall. What then?
I am happy to report that our family of feathers are beginning to fly. They do not fly far, but they are definitely getting into the routine of flying. This particular morning, I had a request I laid out to God in our morning conversation that was simply this, “Lord how will I get to where you have shown me? I have all these ideas but none seem to be the non stop flight to that destination.” And the Lord answered me, but not in words. To my amazement, one little bird delivered a powerful message that I want to share with you.
He stood on the edge and flapped his wings, flying quickly. His flight was not long and he landed gracefully on the concrete porch. I thought, “Well done, little friend.” Yet, I was quite wrong. Stepping out in faith was not the task at hand nor was flying out of the nest and landing safely on the ground. His biggest challenge was that he had to make it back up! I am not sure if you have ever stepped out with big, bold, audacious faith to do something and planted your feet flat on a piece of ground and thought, “Whew, I made it here! Only to realize there was a bigger task than that to get you to where you wanted to go?” (I surely cannot be the only one!)
Our feather friend flapped and he flapped and he flapped. No matter how close he flew to his nest, he just kept falling short of making the land in his nonstop flight from ground to his destination. He repeatedly tried and he repeatedly failed. Has that ever happened to you? You know you are suppose to get somewhere, you know God has put it on your heart, yet every time you take flight to get to your destination, you fall short and after so many flights, quite honestly feel depleted or defeated? Maybe you even question if that is what God really has spoken to you ? Well, thanks for joining me, I thought I was the only one who had these rambling thoughts and feats.
God was not done this morning talking, though. There was one important matter that I needed to see and not just hear with my hears, but embrace it with my heart. After multiple failures, it seemed my feathered friend was not going to make it back up to his nest, the place he was trying to go. The mother in me was already wondering what I could do to help him! But here is what the lad figured out and I witnessed, he could not make it straight from the ground to the top in one flight. However, if he took flight and stopped halfway, rested in order to regain his strength, he could then finish the course and land exactly where he was suppose to be. Selah.
Sometimes we are so focused on burning all of our energy, expending our resources to purchase a non-stop flight to our destination, that we forget that we need to do things in steps. In our microwave society, we tend to want it now, but God is like a crock pot and dishes out as needed and when the appointed time comes. May we take a lesson and tuck it in our hearts today what this bird has done. First, be a mama or papa to someone who is a non believer. Show them love. Be love. When they break free into a new creation, nourish them, feed their souls and minds, teach them the way of the Lord, and encourage them to take flight into the path that God has prepared for them. Second, we, all of us as God’s children, need to take flight. We cannot just sit and continue to be fed and never take flight. Before long we would be too big for our nest and out grow it. Just as the bird took his first flight off the ledge, we took need to have big, bold, audacious faith to step out into the open and fly with the wind. Just remember you can not get there in one flight. It is vital to the longevity and success of our flight to do things in small increments, stopping for a rest along the way. The bird could not have made it to his destination without a stop along the way to regain strength to take flight again and finish the destination.
I am not sure where God is leading you, but I can assure you he has a plan for you. His plan is not one of failure but of success. May we as his children heed his directions, obey his commands and rest along the way, so that we can see the fulfillment of our purpose at the appointed time God has set before us.
The Lord says, ” I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you.”
Psalm 32:8 (CEV)