My apartment smells like sweet potato fries with adobo and curry seasoning. The kitchen is half cleaned and hot. I walk outside to the cul-de-sac that rounds our apartment community. It’s unseasonably cool for a fall Georgia day with a glassy grey sky behind brown, bare tree limbs.
I look into the tree and see a gray squirrel scurry into a knotted hole. A small bird catches my eye. It hops along the limb in an almost dance-like fashion.
Jesus’s words echo in my spirit. “Look at the birds of the air…” Before today, I never noticed the fact that He is actually making a command here. That’s an imperative sentence, for all you grammarphiles.
Yet how often have I ever obeyed this command?
So I look at the birds.
Without a plan in their brain
Without a penny to their name
Without a thought past today
they’re doing just fine.
This past semester, I have not been like them.
I’ve worried constantly about my health (I will write about my struggles with intermittent chronic pain in more detail sometime later). I’ve worried incessantly about my relationships (I’m about to move overseas … and despite many doors of opportunity, I’m coming to the realization I will probably pass at least several more of my prime years single). I worry about my roommate, my family, and a hundred other things.
Many nights, as I filled in devotional sets at the house of prayer, I would sing the United Pursuit song based on Proverbs 3:5. I was singing out of my own desperate need for God.
“I lean not on my understanding …”
I was singing to my own soul as much as to anyone in the room–scraping, clawing, trying anything I could get hold of real trust. I followed it up by singing the Scripture to the same chord progression. I sang,
“So don’t worry about your life
Don’t worry about your body
Look at the birds of the air
“They don’t reap, they don’t sow
They don’t gather, they don’t store
And yet your heavenly Father feeds them
Your heavenly Father feeds them.”
I don’t think I’m alone in my struggle. Whether it’s your finances or your family, whether it’s your grades or your career, whether it’s the partner you have or the partner you wish you could get, the deck seems to be stacked against you to obey Jesus in this area of your life. Isn’t it time you went and looked at some birds? They might actually teach you something.
Stay hungry, my friends.