Lessons from the Bird Feeder
“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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:26–27, NIV)
This morning while looking out at our bird feeder as I was thinking about this passage. Our backyard has many large trees which create a welcome home to numerous little birds. A while back Eleanor and I decided to set up a bird feeder on the edge of our deck. After a few cautious days of exploring the feeder, our little bird friends have discovered a bounty of seeds to enjoy.
As I watched these little creatures several observations about this passage and this bird feeder came to mind. Here is what came to my mind:
I have yet to notice any of the birds concerned about there not being any seed for them. In fact, they all just seem to flutter around celebrating their good fortune. I wonder if they are thanking God as they fly away after a mid morning meal?
Setting out the bird feeder has given me a glimpse of how God must feel in providing for us. It has been an incredible joy to watch these birds relish this gift, even if they do not understand where it came from. I can sit at the window for hours enjoying these birds. I bet God does that with us - observing us with joy as we discover his new blessings
The best part is when the birds start to feed each other! I bet God delights most when we generously pass on his blessings!
On the other hand when we take his blessings for granted, or when we worry about not having what we need, I would think this would be offensive and hurtful to God.
If the birds were suddenly to complain about the seed I put out for them, would I put more out? Would I understand and feel happy to oblige? I imagine it would depend on the day, but if it was a recurring complaint there is no doubt that I would get frustrated and likely begin to ignore the complaints.
How often do I complain to God like this? "I am tired of what you are giving me. How about something different? Something better" (as If I would know better than God what I need).
I have a limited supply of feed for the birds. There is only so much I can do to bless these creatures. Yes, I can head to Wal-Mart and pick up some more, but it that too will be a limited supply.
God, on the other hand, has an endless supply of every blessing. As I watch these sweet little birds enjoying a simple breakfast, I am grateful for his providence and his mercy!
Oh Lord, help me to be accepting of your bountiful blessings and to not concern myself with worry or complaints. The worry simply takes my mind off the one who provides and places it on the commodity. Forgive me when I take that consumer mindset and guide me to seeing you again.
Thank you for the bird feeder, for the small glimpse of being a provider like you. Generosity allows us to see our lives and relationships as you do, but please help me to take this simple lesson into every aspect of my life.
Thank you, Jesus, my great provider. Amen.