Sometimes I just need a little extra reassurance to strengthen my trust in God. Call it a return to "Lessons in Trust 101." Maybe that's why the fate of this little bird seemed so important to me.
After being shaken out of its nest during last week's gusty thunder storms, I found this little guy perched on a fallen limb right outside my front door late Friday afternoon. He looked so sad,, cold and alone that I couldn't help but worry about him. Being so close to the ground and away from the safety of the nest, I feared my dog, a cat or some other rural predator might be able to get him. I didn't think he would survive the night.
Suddenly it became urgent to me that he survive - maybe because his forlorn appearance triggered a kinship with the way I felt inside. I don't know, exactly, but I felt helpless and unsure what to do for him. If I moved the branch, he might fall off onto the ground and lose the meager safety and camouflage of the branch. I didn't want to pick him up. because I was afraid his mother bird would abandon him and I didn't know where his nest was to put him back. Yet I knew he wouldn't survive without help.
As I pondered his situation, I remembered this verse:
Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Even the hairs on your head are counted. Matthew 10:29-30 (CEV)
Though it might seem a little silly to some, I began to pray for this little guy. I already knew God cared for him, but at the core of my being, I needed to see my big, strong God prove his care for such a small, defenseless bird - especially right at that moment because of things going on in my life and in the lives of those closest to me. I sensed God saying, "Watch and see what I will do" as this precious object lesson about his protection unfolded right before my eyes.
Friday night turned into Saturday morning and when I looked out the window to check on him, the little bird was still there. I also saw a second bird perched on the branch with him. Through the day when I glanced out at the branch, he was still there, sometimes alone, but often with his guardian-angel bird, even after the Saturday afternoon downpours.
When night fell again, I prayed the same prayer for him, encouraged that God had protected him for one night, and believing he could protect him again. He did. I looked out early Sunday morning and the little bird still huddled on his perch, his guardian-angel bird close by.
But 2 hours later when I went out the front door to walk to the church, he was gone. I walked closer to the branch, looking for feathers or signs of an attack (oh faithless me!) but saw nothing to show that something "got" him. Apparently he had finally flown away on his own to a safer perch.
I may never know whether he had been dazed by the fall and finally recovered or if he had finally developed enough strength to fly away on his own, but the lesson af the sparrow will stay with me for a long time. God cares for the sparrow and he will take care of me too because I matter to him.
Thank you Father for sharing such an important lesson in trust at a time when I needed it the most. Amen.