For most species of birds, the breeding season begins as the weather warms up. Did you know that many male birds are sterile outside of the breeding season?
Soon the female bird will begin to build her nest in a tree or bush. First it is just a nest, then you look in and find unhatched eggs. Shortly thereafter you find the mother bird nurturing her hatchlings. If the nest is near a window you might even watch as the mother feeds the baby birds by dropping food into their mouths. Soon you look into the nest and it is empty, both mother and babies are gone. Have you ever wondered how the mother bird gets the little birds to ever want to leave the nest? Why leave if mom feeds you, right?
The baby bird knows it needs food to survive. As the hatchling begins to mature the mother will stand farther and farther away from the nest, thus forcing the baby bird to come out of the nest in order to get its food. In the first few attempts the baby bird will likely fall down to the ground, but this repetitive process slowly becomes habit to the bird and it will soon learn that it can stop its fall by flapping its wings. If the baby bird becomes too dependent upon its mother, the mother will eventually push the baby out of the nest, forcing it to learn to fly on its own. But the mother bird is also there to catch the baby bird so it does not bounce off the ground, injuring itself.
It is in the nest that the baby birds are well protected and nurtured by their mother. It is also in the nest that the mother bird teaches the baby birds how to survive. It is this nest image that helps us understand how God both protects us and teaches us to step out in faith, to fly out of the safety of the nest.
We read these words in Deuteronomy 32:10-11 – “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carry them aloft.”
So today and tomorrow, and every day after that, you can trust God gives you safety under His feathers, He teaches you how to fly, and when you feel like you are falling to the ground He catches you in His wings.
New Bern, North Carolina