We just got back from a few days away, for Spring break. We went to the Olympic Peninsula. Our entire purpose was to rest. Though I’m pretty sure my kiddos missed that memo, as well as my immune system, while I fought off a nasty head and chest bug. Don’t get me wrong, we had a ton of great moments and made some unforgettable memories but we also had some intense conversations about life and what God’s plans are for our future. If I’m being totally raw and honest (and I always try to be) I’d admit that the whole vacation was a bit different than I thought it would be. (Aren’t they always? We can laugh in hindsight, right?) As I finish laundry and put suitcases back into the garage I’ve been pondering some things from our trip and wanted to share in case it might encourage you.
I’m the proud mother of the most amazing just-turned-teen boy. He has Asperger’s and it tends to make our vacations and really any variation from the normal routine a bit more…challenging. No matter how much structure I build into it, or how much we prepare him, there are inevitable hurdles to coach him over.
That said, he’s very into birds, bird facts, bird information, bird photos and bird trivia. One thing he was looking forward to with this trip, was viewing an Eagle’s nest that was supposed to be visible from the windows of our vacation spot. Unfortunately the Eagles didn’t know my son was coming and expecting to see them, and decided to abandon their nest this year. After some disappointment, my son discovered a very active hummingbird feeder and that was it for him. If I didn’t know where he was, I could simply look out the window and see him standing frozen, underneath the hummingbird feeder, dressed in red, absorbing these tiny bird’s constant activity. He took my camera out at one point and shot dozens of great photos of these amazing little birds.
I sat upstairs, watching about seven of these birds come and go. Over the course of the week, I noticed that the feeder went from full to nearly empty. I’m not going to lie, these birds had become a mainstay of our vacation at this point, and when my son announced the status of the low nectar in the feeder, I experienced a weird moment of mama panic. The birds didn’t seem one bit concerned with the lowering nectar line and I’m not sure how to explain it other than I was worried that if all these hummingbirds were depending on this one feeder, and the one person that filled it for them, and it went empty- what would they do? What if the owner of the vacation home forgot to refill it?! These hummingbirds were counting on a person to take care of them! And I know people are flaky and often forgetful. I worried for a few minutes and then God brought that precious life-line verse to my heart and mind; ‘If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.’ (Matthew 6:25-26 The Message.)
Hmm. After I had that reminder, I realized that I was worrying about these birds because deep down I was worrying about my future. Who was going to remember to take care of us? What if God forgot about how dependent we are on His care? As the truth of that verse sunk in, tears sprang to my eyes and His love seeped into my heart. He promises that we count far more to Him than birds… even these precious little hummingbirds that basically ‘saved’ our vacation. I’m betting that God specifically planned for those hummingbirds to make a regular appearance just for my heart.
How about you. Are you worrying about something and forgetting that you count far more than birds?