REVELATIONS column: God provides for birds
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For the past few weeks, I've been waking up at pre-dawn hours to spend some much-needed me-time on "cardio alley" at the gym.
I'm not a morning person. I love to sleep. But I almost never let myself sleep in.
I enjoy waking early, watching the sunrise and making the most of my day.
I suppose there's something spiritual and God-honoring about devoting the early hours to personal productivity.
So, when I couple going to the gym with waking up early, somehow the workout seems more effective, and I feel healthier.
I love the moment I finish gliding on the elliptical, sweating those pesky toxins out of my system. My body feels prepared for the day; my mind feels clear.
And the past few weeks, I've needed the clarity of mind. With so many what-ifs, and what-nows plaguing my thoughts recently, I've struggled to concentrate as well as I normally would.
The other morning on the way to the gym, my mind filled with a list of every-day and long-term tasks I need to complete. I was quickly becoming anxious. Thought after thought raced through my mind that morning, and I couldn't seem to turn off the clatter.
I pulled up to a stop light on Navarro Street and stared forward. Then my eyes shifted upward, and I noticed dozens of small black birds resting on the power lines. They were so lovely in the blue-green hues of the early light, resting on the power lines, facing the same direction.
When the stoplight turned green, I drove forward on Navarro Street and noticed the birds fly to the next stoplight. When I came to the next red light, they again rested on the power lines.
The birds did this several more times before resting on the power lines near the gym.
And when I pulled into the parking lot, I watched the birds on the power lines. But this time, they didn't move. They sat on the wires, and I sat in my car and gazed at their movements.
As I stared out of my car, watching the sun's light fill the sky, and the birds dance on the lines, I remembered a Bible passage from Matthew 6:25-27, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
Suddenly, my mind was still, and God used the scripture to silence my worry.
God used his birds a few years ago to remind me of his provision. He introduced me to the Matthew verse that day, and it has never left me.
It was during another transitional stage of my life; a time I remember experiencing similar anxiety about the what-ifs and what-nows of life.
During that time, I prayed daily to God, asking him to offer clear direction for the next few years of my life. For months, I asked him to lead my steps, and guide my decisions. But months passed, and always seemed to come up answer-less.
One day, while praying in my bedroom, I was distracted by loud, squawking birds outside my window. In all the years I spent by that window, I never heard such loud bird noise. My first instinct was to investigate the noise, annoyed the small creatures were disturbing my silence. And in that moment, somehow, I knew God was trying to get my attention. I turned away from the window and grabbed my favorite 10-year-old Bible resting on the edge of my bed. To this day, I'm not sure why I turned to the index and looked up "Birds," but I'm glad I did. The index listed only one entry: Matthew 6:25-27.
The verse gave me such comfort that day. I felt as though the Lord was speaking to me directly, reminding me how useless it was to worry when he was in control.
And the other morning in the gym parking lot, watching the birds and the sunrise, I was reminded how much God loves me and wants me to give him the reigns.
Every morning since I shared the sunrise moment with my birds, I've been able to drive down the street with clear thoughts.
And when my mind starts to clatter, I look at the birds and remember how well God provides for them. If he can take care of them, I think I'll be all right.
Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.