As the weather has warmed and the days have become longer, my wife and I have appreciated the opportunity to enjoy our deck in the evenings. As we sat outside for the first time this season, we chatted about the day, eagerly sharing the funny and the frustrating things that transpired.
During a lull in the conversation, I noticed a large nest in the elbow of the downspout closest to our back door. While I didn't appreciate the splattered mud and dangling grass on my white gutters, I was impressed by the craftsmanship of this haven wedged safely against the house. Sitting quietly, it was not too long before a robin swooped down and settled deep inside the nest.
As the weeks have gone on, we've learned to open the back door slowly and to sneak to the table with minimal ruckus. Doing so has afforded sweet moments of watching the robin go about her mothering.
One evening, a bit mentally wearied from conversations about retirement and preparations for our final years, I sat watching the robin faithfully bringing provision to her nest. In the stillness of those moments, the Lord reminded me of a blog entry that I had written years ago in that very spot after discovering a similar nest. Going back to it, I received fresh encouragement. Perhaps you will too.
"Turning my head towards the sound of the baby birds chirping, I saw a nest discreetly built in the elbow of a downspout at the back of the house. Just then, a robin with a worm dangling from its mouth landed on the gutter. Popping their heads just above the brim of the nest, three little birds, craned their necks and opened their beaks to receive what that robin had brought. After the mama fed them and flew away, the babies settled back down into the nest. That was... until they heard the clicking of the talons on the metal gutter. Immediately they craned their necks and opened their beaks, chirping to the one who supplied their breakfast. As the pattern of provision continued, I was struck by the intense effort of the babies to prepare themselves to receive. Every time they sensed her presence, they demonstrated a sense of expectancy anticipating the fulfillment of their needs."
"It was such poignant imagery as I approached God that morning. I was both challenged and blessed by what I saw: challenged by the example of consistent "neck-craning" expectation and blessed by the example of consistent provision."
"Reflecting on my proclivity to overthink and over-plan, the Lord reminded me of Psalm 145:15-16. 'The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.' With a deep sigh of repentance, I sensed a sweet invitation to rest and to trust with expectancy, embracing the promise that God will always provide. With a divine exclamation point, the Lord gently said, 'Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it' [Psalm 81:10]."
If you are anxious today, I invite you to pause, to exhale, and to breathe in the fresh reassurance that the One who knit you together in your mother's womb knows you, sees you, and hears you. With neck-craning expectation, rest in the assurance, beloved, that God will take care of you. And may you declare with the Psalmist on this side of what you are facing and on the victory side of it, "Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy" [Psalm 63:3, 5]. Amen.
I recently stumbled upon this song of encouragement that offered a word of hope called, I Know the Plans. If you need a fresh reminder, take a listen and allow the song to be a springboard to prayer!
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