Flapping at the Window: What a Bird Taught Me about Trusting God

 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26 NIV)




All day long, this bird (actual photo) has been outside my window, thumping against the glass and flapping his wings incessantly. If he disappears, he’s not gone 10-15 minutes before he’s back at it again. He was there at 8 AM this morning; and at 4:30 PM, he’s still here. Flap flap, flutter flutter, thump thump.

What’s he doing? What are his motives? Is he hungry?

I have no idea, but I feel sorry for him. Since it’s spring time, and he seems a bit on the small side, I wonder if he’s a young bird who’s just learn to fly. Maybe he’s recently left the nest and looking for food. He sees me inside the window and thinks he can fly straight through, not realizing the glass represents an impenetrable barrier between him and me. From his perspective, I have something he needs.

He seems preoccupied with gaining access to my office, as if something inside belongs to him. The unfortunate reality is the longer he stays preoccupied with accessing what he’s never going to have, the longer he remains distracted from the One Who actually wants to feed and satisfy him.

I’m not young in my faith.  I’ve been walking with the Lord for nearly 35 years.  But some days, how I live my life doesn’t seem much different than this little bird.  I see things I think will satisfy, things I think I should have. I’m preoccupied by them. On my worst days, I think that “thing” (whatever it happens to be that day) actually belongs to me and that I even have a right to it.

In my preoccupation with having my desires met, I fail to realize that, even if I obtained the object of my desire, the ultimate satisfaction I long for is beyond my reach, anyway. It ultimately wouldn’t satisfy any more than this little bird would find what he’s looking for if he were granted open access to my office.  And, of course, the longer I’m preoccupied with the lesser objects of my desire, the longer I remain disconnected from my Heavenly Father, Who desires to feed me in the same way He feeds the birds of the air.

Perhaps that’s another part of the problem. We think if we could just feed ourselves, we’d never go hungry again. In the back of our minds, we know that God has proven an interest in only feeding us for today ( it’s there every day, but we can’t store it up), which fosters our need to develop faith in trusting Him for our “daily bread”.

What’s the object of our desire today? Some physical, emotional, sexual fix, some occupational or relational opportunity, promising short-term satisfaction but yielding long-term disillusionment and pain?  Even if it’s some “good” occupational or relational opportunity that isn’t inherently sinful, will it really ultimately satisfy? How can I refocus today towards my Creator and Heavenly Father, Who wants to feed me what I need “just for today”?