One of my favorite signs of spring is seeing and hearing the birds outside my windows. During the past five years or so, our family has been going through a season of trials.Though it has often felt like God was strangely silent, yet, through all of this, God used one of his creatures to speak to me and encourage me…birds.
I had four memorable encounters with birds during these years. Our old house had floor to ceiling windows that looked out over Lake Stevens. During my early morning devotions, I would often look out and see a crane, standing at the end of our neighbor’s dock, just silently looking at the water…a sign of God’s silent presence in my life.
One morning when I was particularly discouraged, a seagull swept off the lake and flew directly towards me, turned at the last minute, and flew by within a couple feet of our window…a sign that God sees me.
One late afternoon, my husband and I were sitting down on the dock, talking about a challenging financial situation, and an eagle flying over the lake turned and swooped down directly over our heads…so close that his wings overshadowed us for a moment…a sign of His power and protection.
One morning as I was puttering and muttering around the house, thinking about all the glitches that kept arising in a home sale, a little sparrow actually flew right in the open bathroom window, perched on the hall table, looked at me, and flew back out again…a sign that God was at a work and would provide.
Birds may seem insignificant in the scheme of our everyday lives, yet they matter to God. Throughout scripture, we read that:
He sees them…Matt 10:29 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of my Father. And even the very hairs on your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
He provides food for them…Matt 6:26 says, “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?"
Psalm 147: 9 says, “He provides food for the...young ravens when they call.”
He provides shelter and protection…Psalm 84:3 says, “Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself.”
Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
Luke 13:34 says, “Oh Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…”
Psalm 17:8 says, “…hide me in the shadow of your wings."
He gives strength and helps them soar...Malachi 4:2 says, “But you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”
Psalm 103:5 says, “..who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles..”
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait (hope) in the Lord, will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles…"
Lessons for us:
Our God sees us.
Our God provides for us.
Our God shelters us, even in life’s storms.
Our God carries us when we feel we cannot take another step and helps us soar above the circumstances of life.
Finally, God used a bird as a picture of his spirit in Matt 3:16, "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.”
Our God gives us his Spirit and his peace.
I like to decorate with things that remind me of birds in the spring.
A song, His Eye is on the Sparrow, has been meaningful to me for many years.
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
How about you? Have any of these scriptures or pictures of God resonated with you?