God showered so many blessings on me when He brought Ryan and I together. As I sat down to try to write my Brag on God Fridays post, I found myself feeling empty. So I pulled up Biblegateway and was praying...
Ryan comes online and we chat in facebook, and I explained how I felt and why. And he asks me to take a moment and list three ways God has been merciful to me. So I did. And I found tears pricking my eyes as I remembered.
I remembered one time, at a retreat, when I was journaling on this pier on a lake, and a flock of geese flew by, on both sides of me, just seperating around me, so I was in their midst and surrounded on all sides by their winged beauty. I remember the wonder as I knew God had allowed me to experience that, just to show me beauty.
And one time, when I was spending the day with Him, and we were God-walking in Spartanburg and I just felt so right, and alive, and joyful and I whispered to Him, "Could you send a bird to sing?" And instantly a beautiful voiced bird began making a joyful noise from a tree, and I laughed with joy, just feeling so intimately connected with him.
I'm reflecting and realizing God has used birds to show His love to me many times. I don't think I really realized that pattern before.
Another time, actually on the same retreat as the geese, God used a
bird again. It was the last day, like the last hour. We were going to
meet up for one last prayer and worship time, then get in our cars and
go. I was all packed, and we had a little while before the big send off, so I took my journal and took a walk in the woods. I let God lead me, and I slipped away from the path and suddenly I was at this lovely marsh, and a crane flew away. It was this amazing picturesque view, with spanish moss and the sky shimmering in the water. I sat on a log and just breathed God's peace into my soul.
Once God drew me to the edge of our woods, and I was thinking, "Why am I here?" He drew me in closer, till I was standing under a tree, staring at some bushes. I was puzzled. Then, it began to sing. It was little tiny puff of a bird. It was either a chickadee or a little bird that looked like one. It was about two inches wide, maybe two and a half tall. It was a little round puffball and it was adorable. It sang to me, from about two feet away from my face. God used that adorable, cute bird to serenade me!
Now that I've noticed this bird theme, I'm asking myself in what ways are birds used in the Bible?
I remember the doves Noah sent out from the ark, which brought humanity hope of a new life in a newly cleaned world. God faithfully led Noah and his family through the flood. So birds can be reminders of new life and God's faithfulness.
I remember how in the old Temple system, the children of Israel offered birds as burnt sacrifices, "an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD." Leviticus 1:17 Today, now that we, the Church, are the Temple of the Lord, and Christ himself was the final sacrifice for sin, He has taken up residence in us. We "walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." Now we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, and just as we shine His light, we have the aroma of Christ, who lives in us. So the birds can be a reminder to me of these truths, what He has done of me, and how I should live in Him. (2 Cor. 6:16, Eph 2:19-22, Rom 12:1, 2 Cor 2:15-16)
I remember Jesus' baptism when the Spirit of the Lord "descended like a dove." So I can use these memories to be reminded of the Holy Spirit, and how God has descended to me, and taken residence within me. (So awe-inspiring!) Matthew 3:16
And finally, I remember God's amazingly comforting words in Luke 12. "Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." and "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither
storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you
than the birds?" (6-7, 22-24)
I think every time God's given me a bird moment, He's reminding me I'm in the palm of His hands and precious to Him.
I love you too, Lord!