A Place Near Your Altar

Monday, June 10, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Breathe On Me Breath Of God"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 84:3 – Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young — a place near Your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. (NIV)

A few weeks ago, I discovered a robin's nest which had three blue eggs in it. The nest was located in a tree right in front of my living room window. Not long after I spotted the eggs, there was a baby bird inside; after that, two more hatched. I couldn't have asked for a better view. I watched as the babies opened wide their beaks, each waiting a turn for its mother to feed them. This was one of the most adorable sights I have ever seen. I became fascinated with these amazing creatures and looked forward to watching them learn how to fly. I read that it takes up to two weeks before baby robins can leave the nest, so I figured that that would give me some time to enjoy them for awhile, before the big event. However, two days later, mother robin and her babies were gone. Not only was this experience a big disappointment, but it was quite a mystery; there were no signs of foul play, and the little nest appeared undisturbed from predators.

Since the nestlings were not ready to fly, I would like to believe that the mother moved her babies to a different location. Maybe she saw my cats at the window and felt threatened. Unfortunately, this may not be a likely scenario, according to some information that I learned on the Internet. Moreover, I found that the rate of success for open cup nesting songbirds is very low. Sadly, the eggs or the babies easily fall prey to a variety of creatures, including raccoons, squirrels, crows, ravens, etc. Predators get their cue from the scent, sound, and increased activities going on around the nest.

Nonetheless, I gained a blessing from this experience. I now have a better appreciation for wild birds and their wonderful role in God's creation; consequently, I am interested in new ways of attracting them to my yard. But first, my natural response was to turn to Scripture. The psalmist must have felt the same way as he observed a sparrow's home and a swallow's nest, near the altar of God.

The sad loss of the nestlings reminded me that the world is a dangerous place. Bad things happen, and believers are not exempt from sorrow and affliction. Still, I am encouraged by the beautiful imagery in today's Scripture. Imagine those birds building their homes in and around the temple courts — what a lovely picture to contemplate! How does it speak to you?

I am confident that if we build our lives in and around God's presence, we will find a safe place — one that is eternally secure in His love and protection, a place of peace that surpasses all understanding, a place where there is rest for the restless, close to the heart of God.

Prayer: "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." (Psalm 84:1,2b NIV) Like the birds of the air which demonstrate Your wisdom and glory, enable us also to build our lives as close to You as possible, where we can have a place that is safe and secure in Your holy presence. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Lori! Blessings.

    Thanks for the challenge Lori.

    Lovely devotional today Lori. Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your day!

    Yes, and He continues to nourish us in that safe place. Thank you, Lori, for this beautifully painted picture.

    Dear Lori,
    What a wonderful devotional! I identified with your opportunity to see the birds eggs, the hatchlings and the mother feeding them. I was privileged to a similar scenario with hummingbirds. The phrase “A Place Near Your Altar” draws up scenes for me of being near His altar in Heaven one day. What a glorious experience that will be!

    Thank you Lori for the devotional. Although the fate of the birdies was bitter-sweet your point was well-made. The birdies outside my window have a better record of success because they manage to get up under the roof of our complex somehow. That and the Maria Callas voice of the mother bird ensure the safety of our birdies, plus of course an easy-access garbage bin for raccoons etc, The scripture you presnted is some of my favourite portions.
    God Bless.

    Dear sister Lori,
    Sad for the wee birds & their mother. I choose to think in the positive for the bird family.
    My cat was a true friend.
    He, as most cats do had his own ways, I chose to think that he chose a new home as he & I live on a farm with no close neighbors.
    I think of him often and thank FATHER for having shared him with me.
    I love pets, and never would neglect one. My cat was a friend & I respected his independence.
    It’s funny, I felt a closeness to him. And although we had this bond since the first time we met (he just arrived & stayed) he was very in dependent.
    FATHER is so good to us. Holding the lamp for us when we allow HIM to.
    As always Lori, you & yours are in my prayers … For health, happiness & prosperity all the days of your lives till called home by FATHER.
    AMEN & AMEN,

    Lori for the meaningful devotional.
    I’m celebrating my birthday and thinking back on how God has seen to my needs over the years, by staying close to his dwelling place.

    Lori, This is a very heart touching devotional. I could feel tears when the babies were gone. Thank you for always seeing the bright side under our Savior.

    Great devotional Lori. Simple, yet bursting with God’s truth.

Previous Post
Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.