Recently, a little black mama bird took up residence in my backyard owl house. I have been watching her for a couple of weeks as she prepared her nest & then eventually fed her babies. Each day, I marveled at the sight … her leaving the nest, being away anywhere from mere seconds to a few minutes each time, arriving back to the house with an onslaught of frantic chirping, spending just moments inside delivering the food and off again she would go. It must have been hundreds of times a day. It was exhausting just watching her.
Watching her made me aware of the lessons I could learn from Mama Blackbird.
1) Despite God’s promises, I worry over things that I shouldn’t. I know that I lack faith.
Matthew 6:30 O ye of little faith?
But, just as these baby birds know that their Mama will be back to feed them, God promises us that he will care for us, also.
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
2) Can a bird feel love? Maybe not. But, as her little birdies grow and thrive in the nest, Mama Blackbird is taking care of all of their basic needs. Love is not just about saying the words, it is shown in our daily actions & devotion to others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
I think Mama Blackbird is looking a little frazzled!
3) This Mama Blackbird could fly away from the nest and never come back. But instinct tells her that they will surely die without her. No other bird will come in and take over the process of sitting on her eggs or feeding them until they can find their own food. She doesn’t get a break. She gave them life and will care for them until they leave the nest. This is her daily duty. Our life is much more complicated than a bird’s, our responsibilities being much greater. Fortunately, unlike Mama Blackbird, most people have other’s to lean on. I am personally pledging to try to be more mindful of the needs of others (not just mothers) as they go about their daily duties.
4) Both Mama Blackbird and her babies exhibit patience. As Mama Blackbird flies away, the baby birds go quiet as they patiently await the return of their Mama. As Mama Blackbird approaches the nest, the baby’s cheeps reach a fever pitch. She delivers the food without wavering and then off she goes again.
Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
This is one I need to remind myself of … “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them– every day begin the task anew.” ~ Francis de Sales
5) I recently saw a video on facebook of a bird (I believe a goose) taking flight off of a very high ledge. You can see the tiny bird waiver slightly before he takes off. As he descended, he did not fly. He eventually bounced off the sharp ledges, not just once. When he hit bottom, I just knew he did not survive. But, as the video continued, he was indeed alive as Mom and Dad came to greet him. A true miracle! And what bravery!
When this Mama Blackbird approaches the owl house, she knows when we are near. Sometimes, she will land in the neighbor’s yard and watch to see who is around the house before she approaches. Other times, she flies right on in and back out again. No matter what is going on in our yard, she will squack loudly and still go in to feed her young. She is so brave!
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.
6) Mama Blackbird has things that she must accomplish, some before she can even lay her eggs. She must find a perfect & safe spot, prepare a nest, sit to hatch the eggs, feed them, teach them to fly and then allow them to leave the nest.
Hebrews 12: 1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This life we live is full of ups and downs, but we must persevere … keep our eyes on the prize!
7) As I continued to watch the birds each day, finally one appeared in the little opening. I was thrilled. Each day this little fluffy guy would appear and I would wonder if this would be the day that I would see them take flight. As you can guess, I missed it. I went out one day to find them gone. The true example of empty nest. Two of my children are still living in my home. They are not little and are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Some days, in the calm and quiet, I think … What now?
John 16:32 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
My children are pretty good boys. I know that I am very blessed to be their Mom!
Proverbs 31:28Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
I know that I could have learned much more from Mama Blackbird and my quiet time with nature. But, how very fortunate we are to experience the wonder and the beauty around us! I need to remember sometimes to just be still and be thankful!