I Heard It In the African Night

The day has been hot, but as night comes there is a definite coolness in the air. I’m sitting around a fire pit, orange flames sending warmth to my hands and face. A thousand stars glitter in the black sky overhead; the Milky Way appears so vivid, in a clearness I have not seen before. Not so far away lions are roaring, communicating their messages to one another. I smile in wonder and pleasure as my senses are caressed by Africa.
Then, what’s that? A sound I cannot distinguish. Have I ever heard it before? It comes again and I ask if anyone knows what it is. “It’s a bird,” someone answers, “a Fiery Necked Nightjar.” I have never heard of such a bird. I’m thrilled again at yet another discovery of wildlife in Africa.
It was further explained to me that the Fiery Necked Nightjar is not remarkable in appearance. In fact, I was told, some would say it’s a rather dull looking bird, but it’s sound makes up for its lack in beauty. The sound is clear and sweet, filled with melody that touches me deeply.

As I thought about the description of this bird — unremarkable in appearance, I thought, that’s how many people feel about themselves. They feel unremarkable, nothing special, lacking in many areas, not standing out in a unique manner. Have you ever felt that way? Probably at some time in our lives, we have all felt like we just don’t measure up. We feel — unremarkable.
When those feelings come, remember, it was God who put the song in the Fiery Necked Nightjar. It is God who puts His song into all of our lives — if we let Him. We can know the darkest of days and yet sing God’s own song of beauty and cheer because He put His song in our heart. We can feel like we’re nothing wonderful, and yet, when we remind ourselves of God’s love for us, that song of His surfaces again. It’s a sweet song of love and tender caress to our troubled minds. God’s song lifts us up when our own feelings seek to pull us down. 

 Let’s not rely upon feelings alone but let us put our deepest trust in God’s own words.  Look at what He says in Psalms 40:2-4, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what He has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.  Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord…”



No matter how unremarkable you may ever feel, remember, it is the Lord Himself who gave His song to the Fiery Necked Nightjar, and it is the Lord Himself who put His song into your heart, too.