Birding Teaches Me about God
I am a birder at heart although I must look in my bird book for the species-type more often than I actually know the bird I am looking at. I love to see the winter migratory birds come through here each September-October and on their return flight in April-May. Here in South Texas, we often see huge flocks of White Pelicans circling above so silently. The Sandhill Cranes, the Whooping Cranes, Baltimore Orioles, Warblers, Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers and Hummingbirds of all types make this route fun for us.
About two years ago, I discovered Cornell University’s bird cameras. They have a number of bird cams set up around the country and in Canada enabling us to look upon the feeding habits of many birds at a feeder near a pond and in backyards. They also have cameras on nesting birds such as owls in Indiana, Texas and Georgia, Albatross in Kauai, and Red-Tailed Hawks in New York. (I have a sister who lives in Kauai so I first found this site due to the Albatross camera. What a unique bird that is!! and so fun to watch. Plus I know what kind of weather my sister is having!!) It is quite wonderful to see the babies grow up right before my (camera-) eyes! These cameras can be found through the Cornell University AllAboutBirds.
Then there is the camera in Washington, D.C. where we are watching two Bald Eaglets in a high nest in a Tulip Poplar tree in the U.S. National Arboretum, operated by the United States Department of Agriculture. We can watch the parents, named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady,” feeding, protecting and watching over them. The babies were born March 18th and the 20th so they are quite young yet, but developing rapidly! One parent goes out to fish while the other watches over the young. Then a fish is brought in for feeding, and often, both parents will feed both babies. They are both thriving at this time. The parents are diligent to keep these two fed and protected. This couple came to this spot to nest in 2014. It was the first time since 1947 that Bald Eagles have nested here. This family of Bald Eagles can be found at eagles.org…. 24/7…yes, even at night. They have infrared cameras on them.
The care by various birds is a mirror-image of how our God cares for us. He created us. He cares for us. He protects us. He loves us. He is patient and kind. He is our Shelter, our Refuge, our Guide, our Deliverer, our Life, our Provider.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. Psalm 91:1-6
…but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
bearing them on its pinions,
the Lord alone guided him,
no foreign god was with him. Deuteronomy 32:11-12
As birds flying, so will the LORD of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. Isaiah 31:5
“The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:12
…for You have been my help,
and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. Psalm 63:7
“For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” Psalm 50:10-1
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head. Matthew 8:20
Father God, You are everything to me. I am like these young birds who need to be brought up safely and with care. You are my All in all. I am so very thankful that You have always loved me so that I have not been left to go life alone (unless I chose that path…which I did). But no more, Father. I want to stay near and follow Your path for my life. I want to be obedient to Your call. The Albatross fledgling will learn to fly on its own as the parents have gone to sea by the time they need to learn to fly. But You have given them an innate ability to fly. I watched one go off the cliff, down, ending up walking back up the cliff to try again. He made a few practice runs and then soared off the cliff and out to sea. You have created all, Father. I love watching these birds because they are Yours. They show me the lovingkindness You have for me. They show me that things are not always easy either. Things do not always work out as we would like them, but Your ways are not mine nor are Your thoughts mine. But I am in Your thoughts and I know You love me as I journey. I thank You, Father. In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.