Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O How I Love Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 1:20 – Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." (NASB)
During the week between this past Christmas and New Year's, two white, pea-size eggs were carefully deposited in a nest the dimensions of an enlarged, thumb-sized thimble. The nest had been painstakingly constructed from spider webs and soft plant parts, and was lined with soft plant down, then adorned with bits of gray-green lichen to camouflage it perfectly. However, this nest was in full view on a bare, horizontal branch of a California sycamore tree, the leaves having fallen to the ground.
This phenomenon stirred the attention and hearts of residents and employees alike. A steady line of walkers and wheelchairs came to observe the mother hummingbird keeping the eggs and babies warm after they hatched. For several days, they are unable to generate their own body heat, so the female had to deal with the conflict of gathering food for them, while not being off the nest for long stretches. When the female leaves the nest to forage, she collects nectar, pollen, and tiny insects and returns to the nest, where she regurgitates the energy-rich slurry into the mouths of the nestlings — a magnificent sight!
It was three weeks before the eggs hatched; the total elapsed time from egg-laying to fledging was approximately five to six weeks. When the nestlings finally left the nest, they were completely grown and naturally able to begin foraging on their own. Their human onlookers expressed sadness to see that the two birds and their mother had left the nest.
Observing this miracle of creation, so up-close-and-personal, gave me thought: If God takes care of the birds so lovingly, will He not care for us as well?
Matthew 6:26 – 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? (NIV)
The birds are a witness to God's compassionate, providential care. God feeds the birds. It is virtually a miracle that the birds can sustain themselves. But God is the provider. If so, the birds point us toward God's continual care for us. Jesus used the birds as an illustration of why not to worry. The apostle Peter carries on that theme:
1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (NKJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for providing us with this living example of Your creation and providential care for the birds of the air. Grant us the understanding and appreciation of Your continual care for us each and every day. This we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.