A Life Lesson From A Small Bird
By Dot Bowen
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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26-27 (NIV)
This morning I was having my morning coffee on the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean and realized I was very irritated by quite possibly the smallest bird ever created. The size of the bird was the extreme opposite of my lack of patience—which was at a record high! For days now, I have watched the sunrise and the ocean waves push up onto the beach each morning while reading my Bible, praying, and fighting with this small bird!
I’ve asked myself how something so small could be so annoying. I have moved my chair every morning hoping the bird would not find me, but he seems to locate me no matter where I move. This fighting between us has gone on for a week now! He once flew so close to me he almost perched himself on my shoulder. I was complaining to Howard about how much the bird is irritating me when the bird literally landed on one of Howard’s toes. I’m not kidding! The bird was resting on Howard’s toe! We both jumped!
My routine at the beach is to go outside every morning before the sun is totally up to talk with God about my family, my personal life, my marriage, the lives of the women serving with me at Cup of Joy, and anyone else God brings to mind who I have promised to pray for. And each morning on this trip that small bird won’t leave my sight. One thing is for sure, he is not shy! Finally, one morning I looked at the bird and said, Why won’t you leave me alone? Are you trying to tell me something? You must think I’m desperate to be talking to a bird! It took over a week for me to realize the bird was trying to deliver a message to me. Obviously, I’m the one with the birdbrain!
Jesus was trying to get my attention through that little bird. I believe He was saying, Look at the bird. He isn’t worried about what he’s going to eat, what he will wear, or what will happen tomorrow! That little bird knows God will take care of him! And truly, if God takes care of that bird, won’t He take care of me?! I began to realize God was asking me a few questions. Why am I worrying? Why do my prayers sound more like a 911 call than a little girl who has the opportunity to talk to her Daddy? Do I think God doesn’t know what is going on in my life? Even worse, do I think God doesn’t care? I watched that bird, and he was the only one enjoying the beach. I have been given the opportunity not only to watch the ocean, but to talk to the One who created the ocean. And instead of enjoying the ocean, I was more concerned about whether that bird might land on me. I knew God was letting me know He was able to take care of each request I have in my heart because He cares enough to send a little bird to relay His message.
As I looked at the bird, I thought, From the tiniest bird to the deepest ocean, God sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. He has authority over my world, and He has authority over your world. I love the words of Max Lucado: “God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible. I think I know why. If God were only mighty, we would salute Him. But since He is merciful and mighty, we can approach Him.” We have the privilege of approaching God each day as a child approaches a loving Father. We should talk with Him about everything concerning us—even if it is just a small bird! God can use the smallest things to teach us His truths, and the smallest things can keep us from knowing His truths.
Tomorrow morning I will do my favorite thing: I will have my coffee on the beach and talk with God. The bird may still be waiting for me. If he is, I will smile at him knowing God sent an important message to me through him. If God cares for and takes care of the birds, how much more does He care for us! Then, and only then, will I truly enjoy my quiet time with Jesus as I watch the waves He commands and listen to the song the birds sing. I think their song goes like this: Why are you worrying, look how God is taking care of us! And we can sing because we know Jehovah Jireh, The LORD will provide.
Further Reading Matthew 6:25-34; Hebrews 1:3