Thursday, June 29, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Thine O Lord"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (NIV)

It was thrilling to watch the last two baby robins fledge, or leave their nest. That morning, we had arisen early to turn on the video recorder in anticipation of the big moment. For a while, the fledglings teetered precariously on the edge of the nest, as if hesitant about the big leap. It seemed like they'd never stop wavering, and I found myself somewhat impatient. Then suddenly, at 7 a.m., one took flight, followed by the other. I clapped with glee. The youngsters had fledged; there was no turning back.

While gazing at the empty nest, I realized that our faith journey also involves fledging, the putting behind of childish ways. For example, we must put behind our reliance on human affirmation to guide our choices. We must become free to follow God's destiny for us and to seek His approval alone. As I've been discovering, however, it is hard to surrender our longing for human affirmation and all its benefits. We try to hold the world in one hand and God in the other. Thankfully, this double-minded wavering eventually becomes a strain.

I think of the robins' final days before fledging. They expended enormous energy in their overcrowded nest as they stumbled about and trampled each other; wings flapped; feet scrambled. In the chaos, two babies somehow got nudged out. For me, just watching this process felt straining. Fledging is unsettling business.

That was also true for Fanny Crosby, the 19th-century hymn writer. She was rapidly gaining acclaim as the blind poetess. She'd be invited to functions by political dignitaries to recite her poetry. The headmaster at the School for the Blind where she attended noticed that human validation and praise were swelling her head. So, one day, he called her into his office. He expressed concern that by writing to please her audience, she was chaining down what she needed to fly.

At first, Fanny was shocked and hurt by his criticism. She eventually realized that he was right. Thereafter, she wrote hymns to benefit the common people. She also chose to live in tenement housing among the poor. Friends and family did not approve these choices. But Fanny had fledged, and so her thoughts were free to soar on the wings of the Spirit. Fanny had embraced her teacher's advice: "Think more about what you can be than how you can appear."

What about ourselves? What might we discover if we paid attention to our own thoughts? Do we notice that we're thinking more about how we appear to people than how God sees us? That may be what's robbing our peace, and it's time to put that wavering tendency behind. Fanny Crosby's hymns can help to nudge us onward, such as this prayerful commitment does:

Prayer: "I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord. Let my will be lost in Thine." Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Diane.

    Encouraging thoughts, Diane.

    Thank you, Diane, that is powerful teaching for me today.

    Delightful imagery! Bless you for this intimate portrait of Jesus!

    Thank you, Diane. That was just what I needed to hear today. Bless you and keep on writing.

    Thanks, Diane, for another of your enjoyable and adviceful devotionals. Blessings for writing.

    Thanks for sharing your interesting post about the baby robins and your important words of wisdom. May God continue to bless you!

    Thank you, Diane. It’s so easy to worry about what others think of us. What’s funny, is that they’re too busy thinking the same thing to think about us! This is a good reminder.

    Wonderful devotional today again Diane. It was so meaningful, and I learned more about Fanny Crosby!!!
    God’s best to you!!!

    Hi Diane
    Thank you so much for your good devotional today. It is always so nice to see the young birds venturing out, I saw that so often with my homing pigeons.

    Hi Diane. Thanks for your meditation. I like your image of holding the world in one hand and God in the other.

    Diane, I hope you caught the video as the birds fledged. I was blessed to be reminded of Crosby’s hymn which I’ve not sung for years! I liked that it was included as the hymn for the day which I read after reading your devotional and the excellent story of Crosby’s fledging.
    Thank you for writing.

    Good morning, Diane,
    It is wonderful to see nature in action as you did with the little robins. Very interesting about Fanny Crosby and the headmaster’s advice. It is good to reflect on why we are doing something. I was walking with a friend, and she was talking about being “spiritual fit”. Your devotionals expanded my thoughts on this topic.
    Thanks for sharing in your own unique style. Blessings.

    Hi Diane
    Thank you for today’s devotion. It was meaningful personally as I recall my own experience and as we struggle with our own young adult sons. Leaving the nest can actually be a lifelong struggle if we continue to do what Fanny did. Thank God for friends and family who are bold and speak the truth.
    May the peace of Christ and the power of His Spirit be with you today and always.

    Diane, your devotion today was interesting in several ways. First of all, Fanny Crosby hymns are some of my old-time favourites, which I wish could be sung more frequently in our church.
    Secondly, your childlike enthusiasm and excitement in watching the little birds leave their nest was heartwarming.
    Thirdly, your use of English language was also heartwarming for this old-school teacher. While I am aware of the word fledgling, I found your use of other forms of the word (fledge, fledging) educational and interesting, and I found myself turning to the dictionary for meanings. As well, I love the use of alliteration in any writing, and your phrase ‘they expended enormous energy’ was definitely worth a gold star.
    Thanks for an interesting devotional, and keep up the good writing.

    Thank you, Diane, for this wonderful devotional. I am so glad to be inspired by it today.

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