No Worries, Just Birds: Part Two

Posted on May 7, 2012 in Faith | 69 comments

If there is one thing I’ve learned from trying to follow Jesus’ advice not to worry, it’s that the endeavor is DAILY.  I may genuinely “cast all (my) anxiety” on God and “seek first his kingdom” today, but sometimes the very same worries–or possibly new ones–will appear tomorrow (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:33).  Perhaps you’ve encountered this reality, too… I think it’s called “life,” which, interestingly, is exactly what Jesus tells us not to worry about in Matthew 6:25!

Should the resurgence of anxieties discourage us?  Does the recurrence mean we are failing in our faith or in our quest for peace and the kingdom of God?  No–I say with all my heart–not at all!  I think the “daily-ness” of our endeavor is exactly what Jesus is encouraging when he says:  “Look 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?… Do not worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:26, 34).

Our continual need to give our anxieties to God–our daily dependence on a God whose “power is made perfect” in our weakness–is precisely what increases our intimacy with Him (2 Corinthians 12:9).  There is nothing more fulfilling than growing closer to the One who formed our very heart (see Psalm 33:15).  Be encouraged as you realize your daily needs… as we “seek first his kingdom,” how BLESSED we are to find the King!  And I’ve experienced that when I “look at the birds,” my worries do fade.

Since writing “No Worries, Just Birds:  Part One,” I’ve been inspired by a couple of magpies… a “Mr. and Mrs.” on a mission.  Please try to imagine the pictured bush only green, without holes or sticks all over it, as it looked weeks ago when I began “looking at the birds.”  As I typically sat still on my back patio, silently scanning the trees high above me, I couldn’t help but notice one day two magpies flying back and forth, practically right in front of me.  They were going from the bush–less than 10 feet from me–to the scrub oak forest to my right, almost always returning with a large stick in their beak.  Flight by flight, stick by stick, day by day their work continued.  Countless hours of meticulous care have created this marvelous nest… of course not for themselves, but for the sake of others–their future offspring.

I believe the One who formed my heart was “speaking” to me.

That very day I’d been worried about my own “work” and the future of it.  I had, in fact, cast several anxieties about it on my heavenly Father.  By watching the magpies’ masterpiece in the making, I was inspired to keep plugging away on the work God has given me.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men….” (Colossians 3:23).  When we give God our heart, He gives us His joy.  At least that’s my experience.  Perhaps most important, the nest reminds me our daily work is not so much about ourselves, but about blessing others.

“Thank You, my King, for two reminders I needed to hear.”

But three’s a charm.  If you know magpies, you know their beauty is striking.  Black, white and midnight blue, and one of very few birds with a tail longer than its body.  Quite handsome sitting still, doing nothing.  But something extraordinary happens when a magpie does what God created it to do–FLY.  When a magpie spreads its wings, its beauty becomes far more interesting, exposing details in the colors and patterns of its feathers that otherwise would not be seen.  When it flies, a magpie becomes magnificent!  Hmmm… a lesson for us?!

When we DO what God uniquely created us to do–when we use the gifts He gave us–our “beauty” shines as it does no other way.  Some of the most beautiful people I know are the ones doing the “work” God has given them… there’s something special about their smile, their eyes, even their skin somehow glows!  In serving the King, they radiate God’s beauty and become “… a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3).

May we ALL be magnificent magpies on a mission!  I don’t mean to sound cliche, but I pray we all use our God-given wings and SOAR!

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