“Lessons I’m Learning While Birding”
There are many Scriptures that talk about birds and sparrows.
Matthew 10:29, 31
1. Birding requires being still and quiet.
It’s a learned art to be still and quiet! Being quiet and still requires much patience!
The birds want to see if it’s safe for them to come out and show themselves to you, especially the most beautiful species of birds. In Scriptures God talks about being still… Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God”.
A few verses before this, in verse 1, it tells us why we should be still… “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The word still in the Hebrew actually means “to slacken, to relax, let drop, be idle”. When all seems to be going wrong and when all is well… take time, be still and know He is God – He will show you Himself in the ways He sees you need.
The Scriptures not only tell us to be still, but to know… to know that He is God! This knowing is not just an intellectual knowing but it is a perceiving – this perceiving includes an observing, and recognizing, it includes instruction received. This knowing literally means “to learn to know”. And it results in wisdom learned.
Could God be waiting to see if you and I will take the time to be still and know Him?
You see He is always there, just like the birds – they are there, it’s up to us to be still and learn to know that He is there, and He is God. Just like we don’t get to choose which birds will show up when, we don’t always get to choose which attribute of beauty God will show us at each particular time we are sitting still and learning to know. God shows us which part of His beauty He feels we need to see.
Psalm 37:7a; Psalm 130:5; Psalm 27; Isaiah 40:31
Understanding that knowing God is a learning process can alleviate much of the striving we do to know Him.
As our Heavenly Father, our Abba God, what a comforting and protecting place we walk in knowing that He is always there, He is always our refuge, He is always a very present help in trouble! 2 Chronicles 20:17 “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”.
2. Birding has seasons
When you get into birding, they become your birds. When you experience certain birds, especially the most beautiful ones, they become yours. When you experience certain aspects of God’s beauty and the art of knowing Him, because you’ve been still before Him and waited and He’s shown up and revealed Himself to you – it becomes yours! It is deep in your spirit and it becomes a part of you that no one can take away, no one can talk you out of, nothing the enemy throws at you can remove – it is yours!
His love is mine, His joy is mine, His mercy is mine… how? Because I’ve been still and I’ve learned, and am still learning, to know Him in those still places!
There are seasons we walk thru in our life. There are seasons we walk thru in our parenting. Sometimes we are taken by surprise by the season change. And when we are not fully prepared for this change, we can begin to question our parenting abilities and efforts. Am I parenting like God wants me to? What do I do with my kids? How do I help them? The feeders seem to be empty! Where is God?
God is always there! Even when you can’t see Him, He’s right there! God is always there; and He is always speaking to us! It takes practice to learn the sound of His Spirit and His voice. As you wait quietly before Him, as you are learning to know Him, you will begin to hear Him speak in His quiet gently way.
3. The calls and songs of the Birds
There is an art to recognizing birds by their calls and songs! You can hear them in the trees even when you don’t see them. Early in the morning, as I sit out in my patio, I hear song after song! Beautiful songs! Every song has a specific message that is being sung! Some songs are letting the other birds, of their species, know that life is good in the hood! Some songs are warnings, some songs are welcoming, some songs are courtship songs – learning to recognize the songs takes practice.
The Spirit speaks to us the very deep things of God. It takes practice to learn the sounds of the Spirit. For each person it may sound differently because God speaks to you, individually, in a way you can receive it.
Just like my birding station in my yard is a place to watch for birds, an altar is a place to meet with God, to lay it all down and let God minister to you. What do you want to lay down this morning, maybe it is one of your kids, maybe it is a situation you are going thru, maybe it is just saying to the Lord, “I want to be still and know that you are God.”