Two Ordinary Birds
Sitting in my car on a somewhat chilly March morning after dropping my children off to school my eyes are drawn to the activity of two ordinary birds.
I see birds all of the time and have never paid much attention to their activities, but for some reason I feel compelled to watch them. They did nothing ‘special’ or ‘spectacular’ – just two ordinary birds in the grass searching for food without a care in the world. That’s when it hit me. The Holy Spirit brought to my attention a teaching of Jesus found in Matthew 6:24-34 and Luke 12:22-34 with the central theme being on not worrying.
God is indeed a good, good Father because He alone knows exactly what we need when we need it. My wife and I are in a season of transition for our family. We believe that God is leading us to take a giant leap of faith into a new beginning. While ‘new’ may sound exciting, it’s actually quite scary – for us, anyway. The first thing that popped up in our minds was “How…?” How are we going to be able to make this type of transition at this stage of our lives with three children – two of which are in school, one just started high school, and a toddler? Where are we going to work? Where are we going to live? How are we going to afford it? These questions dominated my thinking so much I could hardly think of anything else. Needless to say, we were both in full blown worry mode. With all of that weighing heavily on my mind, as I sat in my car it was as if all of time was suspended around those two ordinary birds. Probably for the first time in my Christian life Matthew 6:26 became alive in me. Jesus said:
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Seeing those two ordinary birds and connecting Jesus’ words to it brought such a peace over me. It was an ‘Alright Lord, I hear You’ moment for me that sparked faith and brought me to repentance. You may ask, ‘why repentance?’ In Matthew’s account in chapter 6 verses 24-34 Jesus said “Do not worry…” three times. I think because the Lord repeated Himself more than once it would be wise of us to listen, don’t you? I do realize that’s easier said than done – seeing as how it has taken me quite some time to get to this point. However, through this process I have learned that worry is at its greatest when control is at its least. The less control we have over a situation or circumstance the greater the degree of worry. As long as we are able to have control over our finances, control over our health, control over our careers, we have no need to worry. But, the minute these things begin to escape our grasp worry takes place. Now, I am no swimmer, but it is common knowledge that we float naturally so long as we are able to control our breathing. Consequently, it is when we lose control over our breathing, and begin to worry and panic that we begin to sink. This is what happens in our lives. When we’re faced with a situation we have no control over we tend to worry, ultimately sinking beneath the very thing we are supposed to float on top of. You see, worry’s job is to cause you to sink. That’s why Jesus said not to do it. When Peter was walking on the water, as long as he controlled his focus he did the impossible, but the moment he lost control over his focus on Jesus and His command to ‘come’ he began to sink. Okay, so what am I saying in all of this? What are you going to do when you are faced with the opportunity to worry? My advice would be to consider the two ordinary birds.