“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34
In my 19 years of existence, I can honestly say that I have never cared for birds. Their ability to fly for miles without stopping, their unique structure, their incessant chirping from sunrise to sunset—none of that has ever excited me in any way. In fact, there has only been one time in my life where I’ve shown interest for a bird, and it was this scene in Dumb and Dumber. And I’ll be honest, that ‘interest’ was more laughter than anything.
In the past few weeks though, I’ve noticed a major change in my outlook. About three weeks ago, I was just chilling in our screened in porch, when a robin dove headfirst into the side of the house, flapping its wings and making all kinds of noise. So, with my hardened heart towards birds, I just laughed and mumbled “Stupid bird.”
[Side note: At this point, I had become the Grinch of bird-hating. You would’ve thought I had been personally offended by a hummingbird or something in the past. But anyway…)
After showing my ignorance toward the bird, I soon began to notice that same robin appearing every day, to which I finally realized a nest was being built. And after about a week and a half, I decided to check out how far along the construction had come.
I stood amazed when I arrived to see a perfectly assembled nest of twigs with four tiny baby robins inside…
And my heart grew three sizes that day.
It had taken me over 19 years to realize that these creatures I thought of as annoying and infuriating devils were actually beautiful babies that at one point could not survive on their own. Not only could they not fly or provide their own food, they couldn’t even open their eyes. So, showing that I was still ignorant towards these creatures, I questioned if the mother bird could really provide for her babies and help them grow into what she had become. I challenged her (in my English language that I know for a fact that she could not understand) that she would not be able to keep all four babies alive.
She accepted the challenge.
For the next week or so, I began studying the mother bird and watching how she provided for her offspring. I even did research on birds and—fun fact—a baby robin must be fed every twenty minutes from sunrise to 10:00pm (Now I’m no math major, but four birds every twenty minutes for over 16 hours a day…that’s a lot of work).
And what I noticed is that as soon as the babies hatched, the mother got right to work. She didn’t look to put them up for adoption or pawn them off, but instead took on the responsibility of caring for them and providing day in and day out. At one point, as if to prove how much she really cared for her babies, the mother fought off a blue jay to protect the nest—and somehow still kept a worm in her mouth to feed her children! Talk about a role model for all mothers to follow.
So it got me thinking…
These are birds. They are animals. They live for a few years then die… and no one’s going to remember them. It’s not like twenty years from now her babies are going to be visiting her grave with flowers to honor her.
Yet God has wired each bird individually to fly a certain way, live a certain way, and protect their offspring a certain way. And they don’t even have souls!
So if God cares so much for an animal that will be dead in a few years, how much more does He care for us who will last for all eternity?
Matthew 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?”
When we start to realize just how much God cares for us and loves us, we begin to trust in Him to provide for us. This, however, means learning to recognize that God does not necessarily give us what wewant, but what we need. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” It is interesting to note that Paul says to give thanksgiving to God before He gives you anything–we do this because we know that whatever He chooses to provide will be best for us and for His glory.
I cannot sit here and say that bird-watching has completely changed my life, but what I can say is that I have gained a whole new perspective on God’s care for me. If He’s willing to provide for every bird in the entire world, how much more will He provide for the people created in His image?
My challenge to you is to stop worrying so much about what the future holds, and to stop fretting about situations to come. We live in a broken world; bad things are going to happen. Deal with it. But why worry? God has provided for all four of those baby robins daily with the food and protection they need, so I encourage you to find peace in how much more He will provide for you.