And Excerpt from Under His Wings. . .
Author’s Note: Sorry the picture is not the best – I didn’t want to get any closer and had to move quickly to catch the male near the nest. And we didn’t mow for the few days we knew where the nest was.
I watched a rusty-brown thrasher, and his mate, carry twigs and grass into the messy branches of a brush pile nearby. The normally shy birds stopped occasionally to watch me with their bright yellow eyes as I cleaned my garden. A couple of days later, the male sat on a branch above the nesting spot while the female rested in the twig cup. She moved and revealed five tiny eggs.
One warm morning while planting seeds, I heard a tiny pecking sound. The thrashers watched from above the nest. I moved closer and saw a recently hatched baby thrasher. The other eggs bumped and cracked as the babies inside worked to release themselves from their protective shells. Soon the nest was filled with the demanding cries of newborns.
The next morning, the brush pile was silent. The nest was empty. I sat on the edge of my flowerbed staring at the tiny brown cup tucked in the branches. An old hurt surfaced unexpectedly. My friend Pam and her husband Chuck have five living children and two tiny ones in heaven. Jenna and Ryan were born only to live a few hours.
The missing birds caused me to finally face the death of two children whose tender smiles I would not see and giggles I would not hear. Pam and Chuck grieved deeply, yet they never quit trusting God. But how?
I looked into the clear blue sky and asked out loud, “Why, God?” He was silent. Life went on around me as the tree swallows dipped and dived to catch insects. A spider worked on a lace web between two blossoms. Hummingbirds sipped sugar water from their feeder. Butterflies and bees worked the flowers for nectar.
Determined to get an answer, I waited.
A verse I learned a long time before (See Proverbs 3:5) whispered to my heart, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
I put my head on my knees and sobbed. “But it doesn’t make sense, Lord. I just don’t get it,” I whispered.
He answered with His words in John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Jesus used this verse to comfort His disciples as He told them of heaven. He knew He would be leaving them; and in His concern for them, He promised them a gift, a Comforter—His Spirit. I felt this deep truth fill my soul as God’s Holy Spirit comforted my heart. I heard the still small voice of God as He spoke to me through His Word.
Relying on the hope of heaven, the truth of God’s Word, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, Pam and Chuck survived the grief they felt. They trusted God even when their loss hurt more than any other human experience. Clinging to His promises, they continued to live for God, even when circumstances didn’t make sense.
I stood up, stiff, sunburned, and sweat soaked. “Okay, Lord, I trust You.” With the decision made, I walked away from the empty nest, sad, but peaceful in my soul.
“In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.” (Psalm 25:1)
“Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:5 (NLT)
“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Nahum 1:7)
For the Birds:
Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored tubular flowers. Plant a variety of flowers that will keep your garden blooming from spring to fall. Hollyhock, butterfly bush, cardinal flowers, larkspur, morning glory, petunias, phlox, trumpet vines, salvia, zinnias, and lantanas are easy to grow, heat resistant flowers that will keep birds and butterflies visiting your yard.
Until Next Time,
If you’d like to purchase Under His Wings, click on the book cover below.