Many of you will have read the post of three weeks ago telling the story of the moorhens in our lake. Since then, the chicks have arrived; four of them. I have so enjoyed checking on them each day, watching their progress. Night before last I was very concerned as we had hard rain and strong winds with gusts of 20-40 mph. How would the moorhen family be affected in that weather?
Early yesterday morning, as I took Jack, our dog, out for his first walk of the day, I purposely went to the side of the lake where Mamma Moorhen is nesting with her chicks. My heart sank. There was no sign of any nest! Gone! Just a few reeds and bits of grass swirled in the water where the nest once stood. Panic rising within I looked around but saw no signs of the moorhens — but then — what? It was Papa Moorhen! I stood several minutes watching in wonder as he swam with great speed to the bank, plucked foliage and brought it to a clump of grass on the lake. Then he would dive and bring up a leaf. He kept up this procedure, never resting, a bird on a determined mission. He was building a new nest!
Hope soared as I reasoned, why would he build a nest unless somewhere, perhaps hidden among the reeds, was his family? Later in the afternoon I came again to look. Papa Moorhen had made great progress. The new nest was taking a good shape. He was still furtively swimming to shore and back, packing bits of straw and leaf into the nest. Hopping onto the nest he would stamp everything down with his feet.
Suddenly a movement caught my eye. Oh, what joy! There in the reeds was Mama Moorhen and all four chicks! The chicks were happily plucking at bits of grass. Mama Moorhen, in the warmth of the sun, kept her eyes on them. They were safe, and Papa Moorhen was non-stop in building his family a new home. I could feel my face form a great smile. I said out loud, “He’s a good father.” That’s when it hit me. God’s fingerprint in nature was evidencing itself once again.
There are times when you and I experience unwanted storms in our lives. Rains of disappointment drown our peace. Winds of sorrow tear away our joy as our very foundation of security seems to crumble beneath us — but wait — who do we see? It’s our Father! He knows what pain has come upon us. He comes swiftly to the rescue. He takes no rest as He begins to rebuild the peace and the joy torn away in the storm’s fury. Lovingly He builds a nest of hope and security in our hearts. He never tires of tending to our every need. He comforts. He speaks words of love. He sees that we are protected and made safe once again.
I just came inside from today’s morning walk. What did I see? Mama Moorhen proudly sitting on a brand new nest! Where was Papa Moorhen? Swimming from shore to nest giving Mama Moorhen something to feed the chicks. Oh, he’s a good father.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” II Chronicles 16:9