An Essay by Jackie Houchin
For June the WordPress monthly #WordPrompt is OPEN. Bloggers are to use the prompts as starting points for whatever they want to create to publish a new post.
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” says the LORD to Israel in Psalm 81:10b
A few months ago, my husband and I noticed a couple “finch-like” birds building a nest in our patio rafters. It was a perfect spot for us because we could stand in the kitchen, look out the window, and see the whole process of nest building and later the fruit of their efforts. It was a perfect spot for them as well, sheltered from larger birds, our cat some 8 feet below, and wind and rain.
Mom, and the Dad who boasted a pretty red head and throat, worked endlessly. After a while we saw the Mom bird sitting constantly on the nest, her tail feathers, and often her head showing above the wound around and padded sticks. The Dad brought her food now and then – large pieces of (whatever??) and occasional insects, which he put into her mouth.
When the eggs hatched, she joined him constantly flying off and back to the nest, reaching down deep into it with her head bobbing up and down, putting bits of regurgitated food into their open mouths. Both parents did this throughout the daytime and rested at night – the Dad in a nearby tree and the Mom on the nest until the little ones got too big.
Soon we could see four heads bobbing over the top of the nest every time the Mom or Dad brought food. They never worried when they would eat next (and we prayed that the parents would not meet some horrible fate!). Theirs was an endless duty it seemed to us, but they were faithful for hours every day. Even when the babies got some feathers and began flapping their wings, the parents brought food to them.
Eventually the fledglings took off, sometimes falling to the ground in a fluttery tumble, but then flexing their wings more and more while Mom and Dad encouraged them with cries and fly-bys.
It was fun for us, and we were sad to see them go. My husband took down the nest and we wondered at the intricate weaving, and feather lining. (Also, a lot of white poop droppings by that time!!)
This whole episode reminded me of my Heavenly Father, who cares for me, for us, with even more love, tenderness, and faithfulness. The Bible passage above from Psalm 81, reminded me of those little birdies, heads head high, mouths wide open. Expectant. Never fearing their parents would come and feed them. Can I be so trusting?
In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look to the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Our own human babies also open their mouths wide when they are hungry. Have you ever seen a nursing baby when his cheek is held against his mother’s breast? He opens his mouth and turns his head to take in the nipple? Or have you seen a toddler on more solid food? Have you smiled when you watched a Mom or Dad, raise a spoon with baby food and seen the baby’s mouth open in anticipation. Why, some Daddies even play “airplane” and zoom it into the waiting mouth.
Babies don’t worry about WHERE their food comes from, only WHEN. They feel hunger and cry out, and someone feeds them. God promises us, to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19) We only need to ask and trust Him. (And sometimes wait patiently) Here are a few great promises from God. Yes, there are conditions, but they are so easy if you love the Lord; if Jesus is your Treasure.
Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Matthew 6:31 – “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
So, let us – you and I – take a lesson from the birds, especially the babies. Let’s not be anxious or worried, but trust in God to take care of us – from conception and birth until the day we die, and beyond. (If you are a child of His that is. If not, see my post on how to be saved – Jesus is the Bridge.)
Luke 12:24, 29-32a – “Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” “Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock…”
Photo by Amol Mudiraj: https://www.pexels.com/photo/small-birds-crying-in-nest-4324849/