The Wandering Bird (1)
Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI
Proverbs 27:8: “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.”
This past summer I was mowing my lawn near a small tree in my front yard. Something unusual caught my eye. There was a baby goldfinch on the ground. He was not yet old enough to fly, and his father and mother were frantically flying from tree to tree. My children and I did the best we could for the little bird. We put him back in his nest, several times. Later we found one of his nest mates on the ground. He was already dead. Also, while working on putting one back in the nest, a third little fellow was stepped on. When putting the last bird back in the nest for the fifth time, a usually sympathetic child of mine muttered, “Stupid birds, they’re just going to have to learn to take care of their own stupid kids.”
Living a life of faith is performing the duties, even the simple duties, which God has given to us. The proverb spoke of a bird which wanders from her nest as being the same as a man who wanders from his place. Such a bird, and such a man, is foolish.
The bird’s place is her nest. Where this nest is depends upon the type of bird. Robins prefer their nests more in the open. I have seen them on the sides of buildings on top of electric meters. Wrens need more seclusion and will build nests in bird houses with very small openings. Oriole nests look like bags suspended from branches. Woodpeckers live in hollowed out tree trunks.
This is the way God has created these birds. They are different and have their own place to fill in creation. Some birds eat seeds. Others eat berries, worms or bugs. Others only eat animals which have died. You can tell about a bird’s habitat and diet by looking at its feet and beak. Whatever its style of nest, wherever its habitat and whatever its diet, each bird has been given its place in creation by God.
A good nest is a place of safety for the bird and her young. There are animals, even other birds, which want to take the eggs from the nest and make a meal of them. Young birds need protection from predators which can even be your neighbour’s cat. Nests are also places of instruction. Eagles are given instruction in their nests. They take small leaps and spread their wings for their first flying lessons. The food brought back to the nest is a lesson on what to eat.
For adult birds the nest is where it is the bird’s duty to be. Her young need her care and protection. It is her duty to attend her nest and feed her young. If she doesn’t do it, who will? It is her duty to give protection to her young. The world is a dangerous place for young birds. You have seen broken egg shells on the ground because some other bird stole them from the nest. Perhaps you have seen young birds lying on the ground dead because they were taken by a predator. The nest is where the bird is supposed to be so her young are protected.
The nest is also the place for the young birds. Young birds sometimes want to leave the nest. As the young grow, the nest becomes more crowded. Maybe they would like some space for themselves. The young always seem to be hungry. They may wander from the nest to try to find food on their own. Perhaps they think they are ready to go out on their own and experience freedom. Many young birds do not survive their first year. They are easy for predators to catch. They may starve because they are not able to find their food as well as they thought they could. The nest is a place of safety.
Just as God decrees that the bird’s place is the nest, He has given each of us our place. Bird nests are found in a variety of places and we have variety in our places as well. Your fathers have different kinds of work which they do. Your mothers’ places are different as well. Some care for older children while others have children who are still very young.
Our places are ordained by God. Just as God equips each bird for its place in creation, He gives us what we need for our places. Your fathers have been given the abilities they need for their work. Remembering that God ordains our places for us can be important. There are times when we are very aware of our limitations and sinful natures. Teachers can wonder whether or not they have the patience and wisdom to make it through another day. Your fathers may struggle dealing with bosses or customers who are troublesome. Mothers can grow weary with the great responsibility of raising children. It is during these difficult times we must remember that God will equip us for the place He gives us.
The lives of your fathers and mothers centre on providing a place for you in the home. Fathers work to care for their wives and children at home. Mothers are concerned with raising their children in the home. Bird nests are to be places of safety and so are your homes. There are spiritual dangers in the world which would do us harm. That is why we do not open our homes to the world’s entertainment. It can ruin the spiritual safety of the home for children to be exposed to the world’s way of life.
Birds are given instruction in the nest. You are given instruction in the home. You don’t learn only about food and safety. You are given spiritual instruction. You learn how God’s Word is our guide in telling us what is right and what is wrong. You learn what your duties are as godly sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and members of the church. You are learning about what your duties are in the home and in the kingdom of Christ. ... to be continued