A Lesson from the Birds

Pausing in the midst of a busy day of writing to observe the birds is one of my favorite ways to unwind and refocus. Watching the variety of creatures flitting from feeder to feeder reminds me that it’s the small things in life that bring us the greatest pleasure.

An avid birdwatcher, I’m always thrilled when I come across a scripture reference to birds. God uses birds as an example in several scriptures in the bible. One of my favorite bird scriptures is found in the book of Jeremiah.

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift, and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.  (Jeremiah 8:7)

You’ve probably heard the expression “bird-brained,” which is typically used in a derogatory way to describe someone who did something unintelligent. I find it quite amusing  the verse in Jeremiah gives birds more credit than the people for knowing God’s requirements.

The people in Jeremiah’s time kept running away from God. They were heading in the wrong direction, sinking deeper and deeper into sinful living. Instead of doing things God’s way, they lost perspective on following God and went their own way. The leaders of the people were twisting God’s truth to make it suit their own agendas.

It sounds a lot like our world today. If we aren’t careful, we can get caught up in the do-it-my way mentality. We can view the bible as outdated and not relevant for the time we live in. We can decide to pick and choose the parts of the bible we like and ignore the rest.

Instead of repenting of our sinful behavior, we may make excuses for the way we act. Instead of taking responsibility for our actions and mistakes, we may pin the blame on someone or something else. Preachers of the gospel  may hesitate to preach about sensitive subjects, because they are afraid of offending someone in the church.

Jesus did not preach a do-it-your-way gospel. We are to be his followers.  There is no middle ground. Being lukewarm is not an option. We are either hot or cold. We are either walking with our Lord or we aren’t. We either believe what God says in the bible is true or we don’t.

I will never forget a sermon I heard on the radio a few years ago. The preacher stated that the popular song titled “I did It My Way” is the song they are singing in hell, because nobody in hell did it God’s way. I’ll never forget that sermon.

When confronted with decisions and choices, we must always refer to the truth of scripture to determine what direction to take. God’s word is truth, it’s timely,  and it never changes.

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40: 8)

It is more important than ever in today’s world to know God’s word.  We must be diligent to study the word and pray for God’s direction as we learn the scriptures. We can’t obey God if we don’t know what he expects of us.

Perhaps we should all aim to be a little more “bird-brained” and observe the ways of our Heavenly Father. Then we will be able to walk in obedience to what his requirements are.


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