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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bluebirds And Anxiety


Today I'd like to comment about the above photo that I took in my back yard a little over a week ago. If you look close you can see a nest with blue eggs. They are actually eggs laid by a mother bluebird. Two of the chicks have hatched. Three eggs are not yet. The odd piece of machinery on the right comes from my propane tank. It is the gauge telling me how much gas I have in the tank. Here's the story.

I wanted to check to see if I had enough gas, so I lifted a yellow metal cover over the gauge. To my great astonishment there was this nest. The cover has an opening that allows just enough room for the little birds to go in and out and acts very much like any ordinary bird house. Seeing what I had come upon I quickly called my wife Sylvia, took this photo with my iPhone and quietly put the cover back down. We both decided the little babies must not be disturbed. We were delighted to watch the bluebird mother enter her house to care for her young as we stood about thirty feet away. Daddy bluebird also dropped down and perched outside as she entered. Since then, they have been going in and out regularly. We've not dared to open the cover again. In fact, we called the gas company and asked them also to stay away for the duration.

How long does it take for baby bluebirds to mature? As it turns out, several interesting facts surfaced as I did a Google search, i.e. Bluebird Babies In Back Yard. It appears that the mother eats the eggshells after the babies hatch. They provide protein. In about a week the babies begin to get feathers and in less than three weeks they are ready to fly. All this is quite amazing to me. As the author of the linked piece says, "May all your blues be bluebirds."

My further point is that none of this happens by chance, accident or some vague natural phenomenon called "Mother Nature." Here is what our Lord Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount.
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt. 6:24-34). 
As I gaze again upon this bluebird nest photo and ponder the little family in my backyard, I sense our Lord speaking again to both of us. He reminds us that our anxieties about health and money issues and our future are quite unnecessary. He listens to our prayers. Jesus promises that our heavenly Father values us more than these tiny bluebirds that He is protecting. It was not by chance that I was moved to lift up the cover to my gas tank. I hardly ever do that. I usually entrust all that to Selph's Propane coming by automatically to check the levels. In fact, when I reported the phenomenon they told me this was not the first time that my tank cover has been so used. And they are always very careful not to disturb the nest in the Spring when they do check. I didn't know that.

And yet, the heavenly Father wanted us to know about it. So I was strangely moved to lift up the cover. As a result much of our anxiety about health, finances and the future has melted away. We shall focus upon the troubles of today and how we may please our heavenly Father. Everything else is in His hands. Food, clothing, shelter and all the rest that we worry about will be cared for.

I pray that He speaks the same Word also to you.