Bites On The Fly

Thursday, September 7, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Revive Thy Work O Lord"1 (Lyrics)

As I mowed the grass this week, I was so mesmerized by the barn swallows that swooped and dove in front of my mower. They migrate back to this area in late April — a sure sign that spring is on the way for us. They set up housekeeping in a barn near us, but they dine on our bugs as we mow. For ages, I've thought that I could get a picture of them because they dip so close to the mower that I could almost touch them. Today, I tried to take a picture but neither I nor my shutter speed were fast enough. I took a few pictures, but the birds looked like specks in the sky.

One of the things that I read about barn swallows is that they are aerial foragers — they eat on the fly. There is no air show that can equal their antics as they do their acrobatics in order to get their dinner.

The birds reminded me that I recently went through a time when I was likewise an aerial forager — I ate my spiritual food on the run. Although I talked with God constantly, when it came to reading my Bible and meditating on it, I was like the little barn swallows, just grabbing what I could get quickly. I collected bits and pieces that kept me from starving spiritually, but by no means did I feel full or satisfied. I was talking to God, but I was not listening to Him completely because I was not hearing His voice through His Word. For several months now, I have been feasting on His Word and not foraging on the fly, and my heart is well fed.

Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (NKJV)

My little friends have followed me all summer as I mowed, but as the colder winds blow, we will see fewer and fewer of them until they are all gone. What a blessing that "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV) I will miss these wonders of God's world, but I will always remember the lesson that I learned from their dining habits. I pray that you will, too.

Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. (NKJV)

Pray with me:

Prayer: Lord, I am grateful for the bites that You have provided, but I long for a full meal. My heart is Yours, my Saviour. Amen.

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About the author:

Jeanie Nihiser <>
Cerro Gordo, Illinois, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Jeanie.

    They are a wonder. Thanks for sharing, Jeanie.

    Thank you, Jeanie. This is lovely – feasting on the fly.

    Wonderful and meaningful to me. Thanks for sharing.

    We should never be satisfied – we need to continually seek God in prayer and study of His word.

    Amen and amen! Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us!

    Good morning, Jeanie: Thank you for today’s devotional. It is a good reminder with lovely imagery. Blessings.

    I’m starting to recognize your devotions before I get to the end. I love the way you write! Blessings to you and your family.

    I truly related to your devotion today. Gave me things to think about. Thank you.

    You are preaching to the choir, Jeanie. Thank you for your devotional.
    We are barn swallow people as well.

    Thanks, Jeanie, for another of your interesting and directive devotionals. Very good advice that we need spend time devoted to reading and absorbing God’s word. Blessings for your special writings.

    Good morning, Jeannie,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. There are indeed times when we eat God’s word on the run.
    Blessings on your day.

    Good morning, Jeanie,
    I am definitely guilty of “bites on the fly”. I enjoyed your devotional and how you tied it into the barn swallows behaviour. I do join with you in your prayer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your faith journey and the changes you are making. Blessings.

    Thank you, Jeanie. I have had many such days this summer, with bites all over the place but very little focused study. I am grateful for the routine that September seems to bring. I want to tell you that when I see your name at the bottom of a devotional, I can hardly wait to read it.
    Thanks again.

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