This morning I was awakened by bird chatter. It’s spring after all and the hatchlings are hungry and noisy at 5:30am! Such a welcome sound, much better than the blaring of the alarm or our Pomeranian barking at the side of my head, impatient for his morning walk.
Just days ago, our second and last hummer left its nest. I knew he was ready to leave – he barely fit inside the nest. Still, I shed a few tears. It was such a treat to watch the two hatchings grow as mama bird fed them 4-5 times an hour.
I first discovered the nest by accident while walking by the magnolia tree in the corner of our backyard. Movement caught my attention, right at eye level. As I peered into the tree, I saw two tiny beaks peaking over the edge of a nest. It was no bigger than a ping pong ball and nestled in a fork of the tree branch, strategically covered by a thick cluster of waxy leaves.
How exciting! My first opportunity to observe hummingbirds in the nest! Actually, any hatchlings in their nest. What strikes me now, is that I had never discovered a bird’s nest before. Our home borders a canyon after all. The nests are clearly abundant as testified by the roar of baby birds squawking for food at 5:30am. Still, I had never before noticed a nest. Which brings me pause. If God’s creation is abundant and all around me – why hadn’t I noticed it before?
The Lord has taught me quite a few lessons these past few weeks as I’ve observed the hummingbirds. The magnolia tree is just outside our family room window, and every spare moment I’ve run to the window to peer at the nest. God is good. He put the nest right there, right in front of my eyes. What a gift! Which reminds me of many of the Lord’s gifts. They are usually right before our eyes waiting to be discovered.They are tiny and precious, fragile and lasting but a moment. Waiting to be discovered, waiting to be noticed.
My emotions are both sad to see the empty nest and excited to see God’s creation operate as He has designed it. He didn’t design the hatchlings to remain in their nest forever. They were designed to be there but for a moment. Now the young hummingbirds are soaring above the canyon in search of nectar-rich flowers and plump little bugs. Soon enough, they’ll migrate to points south and then return here to find a mate of their own. The cycle will begin all over again. A creation cycle that testifies to God’s glory. What is the purpose of creation? To glorify God.
That’s the Christian’s purpose to – to glorify God. In all that we do, as we live our lives, to glorify God in the fleeting moments of life. In the mundane repetition of our lives, we are to know God and make Him known. It was during an ordinary walk about the backyard that I discovered the hummingbird nest. The hummingbirds reminded me of knowing God. Not just in His Word, but in His creation. His creation testifies to His separateness, His brilliance and His awesome power and creativity. I must remember to observe God’s presence in the ordinary moments of life.
The cycle of life is already beginning again. On the opposite side of our home is a bank of tall bushes. Nestled in the branches is a tiny nest. It’s been under construction and is now ready, patiently waiting for eggs. And perched on a high branch is a rotund little hummingbird…
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You. Psalm 84:1-4