Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Lord's My Shepherd"1 (Lyrics)
2 Chronicles 16:9a – For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. (ESV)
Every spring, robins built a nest under our deck above our back door. We use this door as our main entrance, and the patio is a place to relax as well as a work area. A busy spot, it seems a strange place to nest, but the birds weren't bothered — I could stand on a chair and take close-up photographs.
The robins would rebuild their previous nest and had two, often three families each year. When we heard tiny cheeps, we knew that the babies had hatched. They grew so fat that they were bigger than the adults. On the day that they left home, they all hopped and fluttered on the beams above us. The babies were unsure, but the parents encouraged them with much twittering, and suddenly, they were away. But our tenants would soon return, ready to start another family.
For many years, there was another bystander watching all this. The deck was our old cat's favourite spot. One of Bandit's pastimes for hours on end was to peer through a crack between the boards, directly above the nest. No more than six inches from the baby birds, he showed no desire to reach them. If they were aware of him, they gave no sign. Perhaps they knew that he was no danger to them.
However, if a squirrel or chipmunk approached, the parents would make a big fuss. The noise attracted Bandit's attention. He'd poke his head through the railings to check out the situation, and his movement would scare the intruder away. Was it inadvertent, or was he really protecting the little family?
Bandit died in the fall of 2015 at age seventeen. Last spring, the robins came as usual, but they nested only once. They left and didn't come back. Did they realize that their protection was no longer there? I often wondered what the birds thought of that eye in the sky, constantly watching them from above. It reminded me what God says in the Bible:
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (NIV 2011)
We can't see Him, but God's eye is watching us. If you are someone who is afraid of God, imagining Him as a kind of cosmic policeman watching and waiting to catch us out, the Bible tells us instead that God is a Father Who has His loving eye on us. He provides all that we need and protects us. The most oft-repeated promise in the Bible is Do not be afraid. The Psalms tell us that we can take refuge in the shadow of His wings — as under a mother bird. We can go about our lives and be assured that He has His eye on us — like my old cat on guard. How precious is His steadfast love!
Prayer: Father in heaven, Your eye is always on us. You know exactly what we need, and You promise to provide. Thank You for Your steadfast love. Amen.