Friday, June 29, 2012

Lessons from the Robin's Nest

For the last couple of weeks Claire and I have marveled at the engineering expertise of the robins whose nest is snugly secured on a low-hanging branch of the tree right outside our door. I mean, the winds we've experienced in the last few weeks here in eastern Nebraska have been (as my Dad used to say) "hard, fast and plenty" yet the nest stayed in place. It was really remarkable. Several times we went out fully expecting to find a disaster on the lawn. But to our surprise and great delight, the nest remained intact and unmoved.

And, of course, Mrs. Robin was always there too, also intact and unmoved. Bless her faithful heart.

We always have a lot of things to pray about, extremely serious things like the advance of the gospel, the persecuted Church, the rebuilding in America and beyond of a culture of life, relief from the Colorado wildfires, and a whole lot of things affecting us and our loved ones. So was God disappointed or annoyed when we included in our prayers the safety of Mrs. Robin's offspring?

I don't think so. After all, the Bible speaks of creation being His handiwork, an expression of His loving, merciful character. We even have specific reference to His provisions for the birds of the air and of God's knowledge of every sparrow that falls to the ground. And God is tender with us too. He knows that seemingly little things can touch us and, as our gracious Father Who always gives us excellent gifts, sometimes He gives us the desires of our heart even when it might only concern...well, something like the successful transition of Mrs. Robin's eggs to little kid robins! God is great.

In the weeks of anxious waiting (anxious for us, I can only imagine what Mrs. Robin was experiencing in those howling, rain-filled winds!), Claire and I talked of many things related to the birds. For instance, we often contrasted the robin's diligence and dedication with the unthinking (even uncaring) attitude that marks parenthood among humans. We talked of the utter foolishness of the Nanny State which would make it a crime (I'm not kidding) for us to try and help take care of the baby birds were they to fall out of the nest. And we talked about the wisdom, power and, yes, whimsey of our Lord  as revealed in so many marvelous mysteries of nature.

Things in that tree, by the way, have come to the climax. The nest has survived the storms, wind and heat. The eggs have hatched. And Mrs. Robin's kids are requiring new efforts on her part to care for them. It will be a glorious adventure for them all. But not an easy one. And so, amid all the other prayers we will be lifting up to our Lord, we still will have a few for the Robin family.

And thanks, Lord, for directing them to build their nest where they did. It was a super cool gift.