My neighbors probably call me the crazy bird lady. Though I’ve grown a little more lax about it since spring has arrived, I’m still pretty faithful to go outside in all sorts of weather and fill the bird feeders in our backyard so scores of little finches and doves and cardinals have breakfast awaiting them first thing every morning. What began as a science project for the kids has turned into a personal mission for me because, much to my surprise since I never cared for birds before, I truly have come to enjoy seeing them outside my window every morning.
We were gone from home for a couple of weeks just recently and I didn’t designate anyone to come fill the feeders, so my birds went without for a while. I was almost worried they might not return, especially given that their number has already dwindled considerably since spring has arrived, providing them plenty of alternate food sources.
But I needn’t have worried. The morning after we arrived home I filled our feeders and in barely more than 5 minutes there were birds all over them.
Just like that, food was supplied again. The feeders were magically full once more. In one mysterious moment of time everything was just as it should be again.
Or so it probably seemed to those birds.
But who filled the feeders? Me. Who had the foresight enough to ensure there would be seed when we got home so I could fill the feeders? Me. Who shivered on a cool morning and walked out in the mud to put the feeders back in place? Me.
Yet not one of those birds acknowledged my efforts in any way. None of them thanked me. None of them even seemed aware that something bigger and stronger and wiser than they had taken the time to set right what they could not. They acted like the whole thing had happened by accident. They were oblivious to the fact that their provision came as a result of the planning and expense of someone else.
Yeah, I know. They’re just dumb birds and so I’m not expecting a thank you note. But what about us? What’s our excuse?
Because when I see the indifference and the disregard of those birds who are being provided for so kindly, I can’t help but be reminded of people I meet every day and, sadly, sometimes of myself.
We are so graciously provided for. With few exceptions we have plenty to eat and clothes enough to wear and shelter from rain and snow and wind. We deal with hardships and sicknesses and death, yet no doubt each of us is protected from dangers and heartaches we can’t even begin to conceive. Then there are the things that seem to “just work out” in our lives, times when “the pieces just fall together” and we walk smugly through it all, taking pleasure in the “coincidences” of life and never bothering to acknowledge that a bigger hand has been at work all along.
Who does the providing? God. Who has the foresight to know what is ahead, both good and bad, and plans accordingly? God. Who weaves the happenstances of our lives into plans more perfect than our own? God. Who deals with our shortcomings and tolerates our selfish disregard? God.
Yet so often people miss it. I see all around me people who will not acknowledge God, though His working in their lives and situations is plainly evident. But, sadly, I’ve often made the same mistake, accepting the benefits of his planning and work, yet never bothering to acknowledge His effort.
And to say thank you.
In all the busyness of our lives, may we never neglect to recognize and acknowledge the handiwork of a loving God so much bigger and stronger and wiser than ourselves, knowing He is working all things for our good.