And while I have learned that snow often comes to this area in March and even in April, I still sense the signs of spring beginning to appear. Everywhere, it seems, the grass, is slowly greening up. Trees in our yard are budding; and the ubiquitous sound of chirping fills the air.
This last matter may be in part due to the fact that my wife loves to care for birds out in the yard. She gets this from her mother, who does much the same. To the utter delight of squirrels and chipmunks, they both doggedly refill bird feeders all winter long. Of course, the birds also flourish in the process.
As I reflected on this, I was reminded of a clip in my files from years ago. It comes from page 23 of the November, 1989 edition of the publication titled Bits & Pieces; and it reads as follows:
A construction crew was building a new road through a rural area, knocking down trees as it progressed. A superintendent noticed that one tree had a nest of birds who couldn't yet fly and he marked the tree so that it would not be cut down.
Several weeks later the superintendent came back to the tree. He got into a bucket truck and was lifted up so that he could peer into the nest. The fledglings were gone. They had obviously learned to fly. The superintendent ordered the tree cut down.
As the tree crashed to the ground, the nest fell clear and some of the material that the birds had gathered to make the nest was scattered about. Part of it was a scrap torn from a Sunday school pamphlet. On the scrap of paper were these words: He careth for you.
Wow! I have no way of knowing if this story is true. But the truth is conveys is indisputable. The quotation is part of a larger Bible verse found in the King James translation of the first New Testament General Epistle (or Letter) of the Apostle Peter (chapter 5, verse 6-7):
6“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
When I read this passage, I cannot help but be reminded of the words of Jesus earlier in the New Testament (in His famed Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 25-34), when He said:
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I’m glad the man in this story took time to care for a bird and her brood. I’m glad my wife feels led to care for the birds as well. But mostly, I’m glad that God does the same. After all, He is arguably the one behind the care of birds even when it is given by humans.
But above all, I’m glad that the same God who cares for the birds also cares for you and me as human beings created in His image. After all, as the Apostle Paul puts it (in his New Testament Letter to the Romans, chapter 8, verse 31): “If God is for us, then who can be against us?!”
STORY SOURCE: Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 23. Bits & Pieces is a pocket-sized monthly magazine full of inspirational stories and quotes that has been published for decades. Cf.: https://bitsandpieces.biz/subscribe-become-member/.
THIS ILLUSTRATION ALSO AVAILABLE WIDELY ONLINE: See, for instance: http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/a-z/g/god_care_of.htm.
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: http://biblehub.com/kjv/1_peter/5.htm