The Birds Still Sing

This has been a wild weather week for many of the southeastern states in the USA; strong wind gusts, hail the size of golf balls, booming thunder, sharp lightening, and tornadoes ripping across the land.  Thankfully, my mother and I, and our home, were left untouched.  A few branches scattered across the lawn, but nothing more.

Over the years I have been amazed at the power of storms; and, equally amazed at the resolute attitude of animals to keep going and rebuild in the wake of any storm’s aftermath.  Like ours, their homes are often destroyed, too.  I have seen a bird’s nest keep hold on the tree branches in the roughest of winds, and have also seen them topple to the ground in the softest of breezes, but I have never seen these winged creatures give up in despair.  No matter the calamity, the birds still sing.

It seems that animals and birds have an inborn understanding of God’s character revealed in nature.  They sense God’s finger drawing messages of love in the earth and His voice speaking truth in the wind.  I love the verse in Romans 1:20 that tells us, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature.  So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”  God is everywhere and He can be found if we look with eyes searching for truth.  He promised that if we seek we will find.

Why is it so easy for us humans to despair?  Why don’t animals give up when nature strikes its cruel blows?  At the end of every storm, how can animals accept their tragedies with composure and continue on in peaceful stride?  Why do we humans agonize over material ruin while the birds still sing when they have lost all?

Jesus taught the truths of nature to His followers when He said to them in Matthew 6:25-27, “I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.  Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, because your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

If only we humans could take hold of positive resolve when adversity strikes.  If only we could move on peacefully to build again when disaster takes away what we toiled so long  to gain.  If only we would determine to search for God’s truth in the middle of every mishap.  When we seek, we find.  When we knock, the door is opened.  When we ask, we receive all we need.

The next time difficulties come your way, don’t forget why the birds still sing.

 

The Joy Of A Song

I’ve always known about myself, that music is like a tonic to my inner being. Music renews me, refreshes me, uplifts me. When I am down, the best way up, is through the joy of a song, but not any song; it must be a song of praise to the One I love so much.

I was reminded of this beautiful fact, just this week, while walking down a dusty, broken sidewalk, during my current visit into Central Asia. I took note of the poor conditions around me: two homeless men sleeping by a ditch, children gathering water for their families from pumps by the side of the road, ladies picking through crates of tired looking tomatoes and cucumbers for the freshest ones. I’m very aware of the financial burdens the people face on a daily basis. They are constantly seeking a way to purchase food, medicines, and pay utility bills. Inflation climbs higher while their salaries and pensions remain the same. Everyone, also, keeps their eyes on political tensions. There have been three uprisings in the last ten years that all resulted in bloodshed. There are rumors of another to come.

As the above thoughts were racing through my mind as I walked along the broken sidewalk, something else brought my feet to a stop. It was the singing. Singing, from above. No, not a host of angels appearing, but a flock of sparrows chirping and singing their little hearts out. Oh, what beauty to my ears, and what a tonic to my heart!

Do you remember the example that Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 6? The example about the birds and the lilies of the fields? Jesus pointed out that, even the birds and the flowers didn’t worry about the troubles around them. Therefore, Jesus encouraged, if you and I are loved more than the flowers and the birds, then why don’t we simply trust our Father, too? If He cares for nature, and He does, how much more does He love and care for you and me?

Beneath the trees, the world is broken, hurting, and suffering deeply; but above, the world is full of rapturous song! It is the song of the Father that lifts our hearts in times of pain and suffering. As the Psalmist wrote in chapter 96:1,11-12, “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise! Let the fields and their crops burst forth with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise before the Lord!”

Never forget — while the world around you may be dismal, to those who know the Father, there is a song of gladness to soothe all wounds. Let us learn from The Creator’s creation, the joy of a song!