Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Living Among the Thorns
A robin built her nest on the sun-porch window ledge, right behind the rose bush. We can easily watch her from our front window. Her homey nest is tucked into the corner with the branches of the fresh, green rose bush to protect her from the wind and sun, and other dangers such as fascinated children and neighborhood cats. Day and night she sits there, eyes wide open to any possible threats to her growing family.
I worry about that mother robin. Does she know that when that rose bush grows, it will crowd her and her family? Does she realize how sharp those thorns are? Will those thorns injure her and her babies as they go about their daily business of finding worms and learning to fly? I will be so disappointed if something tragic would happen to them, that I am almost sorry that they chose my humble window ledge to be their home.
Isn’t that robin just like all of us? She’s simply trying to eke out a safe and simple existence in this world filled with thorns. But there really is no escaping the thorns of everyday life. They will always be with us. We just need to learn how to cope with them, to work around them, to live with them. We all suffer from the thorns of overwork, stress, anger, jealousy, exhaustion and resentment. There are times when the thorns of hunger and want enter our lives. Many endure the pain of the thorns of rejection or abuse. We cope as best we can, don’t we? We lean heavily on God whenever we need him the most. We try to make a comfortable nest for our families and ourselves so that even in the midst of our thorns, we will have someplace safe and warm to return to when we are in need of rest.
I need to remind myself to listen to the wisdom of the words of Jesus: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.” Matthew 6:26. The key word is trust, isn’t it? God will take care of the robin family and God will take care of my family. It’s so easy for me to work myself into a panicked frenzy over all the activities that must be accomplished, over all of the bills that must be paid, and over all of the ups and downs of life. If only I could follow the example of that mother robin. Like her, I should keep my eyes open and watchful for immediate dangers and leave the rest of my worries and cares in God’s loving hands, trusting that He will always care for me and see to all of my needs. Instead of being fearful of the pain that those thorns can inflict upon my body and my heart, I should be reveling in the beauty of the fragrant roses that will soon blossom from the thorny branches.
I look forward to an interesting summer watching the robin family grow in front of my eyes. I know that God must also be interested in watching my family grow in front of His eyes as well. So even in the midst of the thorns of life, I will trust in God to always care for us and to meet all of our needs, and I will thank Him for scattering a few sweetly-scented roses in my path. I am thankful for the mother
robin that taught me a valuable lesson in faith, and I am thankful to God for using a simple bird to draw me closer to His heart.