Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)
TITLE: Bird Watching
By Hiram Claudio
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So much of their life is instinct. Flying, learning how to fly, hunting, nest building, whatever the case, they seem to know what to do or how to teach their young. And one of the most fascinating pictures of all is of a nest of newly hatches eggs.
Baby birds are just kind of … there. They sleep, exercise their voices, and look at the world as it appears from their very comfortable and protected nest. And their mother is seldom far away. She watches them, keeps them in line, and retrieves them if they stray too far. One of the most interesting scenes is feeding time. For this the mother can travel some distance to gather enough food for her babies. Once gathered, she returns and feeds each one according to its need.
But the interesting part in this is the baby birds. When the mother bird returns from gathering food, you often cannot tell at first glance if her hunt was successful. No matter. The minute she returns their beaks open wide. They basically fall into position, mouths at the ready. To them, it doesn’t occur to them that mother would return without food. Momma just got back? That means feeding time. Which means their part is to demonstrate, with their open beak stance, that they believed she would come through.
There’s this sense of … expectation in their behaviors. It’s a hope that is beyond wishful thinking. If you watch long enough you can almost feel them saying, “well of course Mother will deliver, that’s what she does.” What faith they have to their mother bird. And that faith is shown by the expectation they have of readying themselves to be fed.
Expectations can be hard to figure some times. So many people struggle and complain about having too many placed on them. And the feeling may be justified. You can feel that someone, or a group, is unfair or insensitive by expecting too much. But what if that’s not the case? What if the expectations aren’t a sign of excess but a sign of faith? What if they’re a sign that someone really believes in you?
And what about God? We’re told that we can have faith in Him? That we can trust Him so deeply that we can, in faith, stand on His promises. Now I’m not promoting taking an arrogant stance with the Master. But it’s not arrogance to believe what He says and to conduct your life in a fashion that shows it. To expect that God will be God when it comes to the things He promises you.
There are so many voices that try and tell you what you need to consider. Consider the economy. Consider the job market. Consider our diminishing health along with rising healthcare costs. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be mindful of these things. But when it comes to our care and security and where our peace of mind is anchored, Jesus said … “consider the lilies” (Matthew 6:28 – NKJV).
Consider them and that … they are cared for. Not just by some mindless ecosystem that was set in motion but because “your heavenly Father cares for them.” And then we are told … “He cares more for you.”
Does that mean I don’t have to do anything? No. But it does show us that we can have an ‘expectant faith’ in the Lord in that we will be cared for. We need to do our part and place ourselves in position for this care. But when we do, He provides care and peace of mind also. So, when you’re being overwhelmed with “things” to consider, stop and … consider the lilies. And if watching flowers gets too boring for you then … “Look at the birds of the air” and hear the Lord say to you, “Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26 – NKJV)
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