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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Force fed and loving it!

I had the pleasure of enjoying my two daughters and grandsons on Mother's Day, along with my Mom.  The boys had to work, but they sent their greetings and were missed terribly.  As we were enjoying a leisurely BBQ lunch, Corbyn asked if I had seen the hummingbird video on Facebook.  We had been observing the hummingbirds come and go from the feeder just behind us on the patio, so the subject seemed to center around birds.  I had observed many beautiful birds on vacation, but the boys wanted me to see this particular video because it had caught their attention.  Becca was quick to find it in the news feed and shared it with me.  It spoke volumes to me.  As I watched, a mother hummingbird fed two small chick birds in the nest.  First one, then the other. What was amazing was the way she almost had to "force feed" them.  At first, they started out "ravenous" - wanting what she had to offer, beaks open and beckoning to her to give them her stores of food.  As their tummies began to fill, the nestled down deeper into the next and began to almost resist her tender advances to provide them with nourishment.  I mentioned to the kids how much it looked like she was "force feeding" them toward the end.  One gave into this "forced feeding", while the other burrowed deeper into the nest and firmly kept the tiny mouth closed against her probing beak.  I wondered if this isn't how we sometimes treat God - beckoning him to provide nourishment at first, but then pulling away, nestling down into our secure place, and resisting what he has to offer.

The Lord God is our protector and glorious king. He blesses us with kindness and honor. The Lord freely gives every good thing to those who do what is right. Lord All-Powerful, great blessings belong to those who trust in you! (Psalm 84:11-12 ERV)

Just like the mother hummingbird, God beckons us to open up and then to take what he has to offer.  What I didn't tell you was how "deep" into the open mouths of these tiny chicks she had to put her beak to actually impart what it was she had to offer.  It seemed as though she stuck that long, slender beak nearly all the way down their throats, right into their stomachs.  It was as though she probed along the roof of their mouths, then right down into the stomach - imparting the rich nectar she had for them.  When they began to resist a little, she pried their mouths open and continued to give of the nectar, but not before she got it deep enough into them for them to get 100% of what she was offering.

I think God may have to be this way with us when he brings good things into our lives which will actually help us grow.  He has done all the work to provide what we need, but we cannot overlook how much he sometimes has to "pry us open" to get us to receive the goodness he has prepared for us!  Amazingly, we cry out for so much, then when God comes along with it all prepared in the special way only he can provide, we resist it!  In his loving care, he won't let us stay in our place of resistance, though.  He is much like this mother bird, tenderly probing us until we will open up and begin to accept the entrance of what he has into the depths of our lives.

Another thing I noted as I watched this video was the security of the nest.  It was small by comparison to some nests, but quite soft and flexible.  As those tiny chicks burrowed deep into the safety of the nest, it "gave" with them.  The nest seemed to flex and then securely embrace them in the downy feathers and soft security of the walls provided for their safety.  Much to our surprise, we often find our greatest "peace" comes in nestling down in the place God has prepared for us well in advance of us even needing it.  This mother bird spent hour upon hour tenderly crafting that nest.  She made a place of safety long before she even knew she'd mother her two chicks there.

God is much the same - tenderly preparing the place for our protection and security.  It becomes the place of our deepest feedings and the rest we so much need.  Just as those birds began to settle in with full stomachs, the mother bird watched and ensured they were nestled deep into the nest.  After seeing them peaceful and "filled to the max" with the goodness she had provided, what do you suppose she did?  You might imagine she nestled in on top of them for a well deserved rest herself, but she didn't.  In fact, she was off again, preparing for their next meal!  She was already looking out for what they needed next. Isn't this so like our God?  Always looking out for what we will need next in this life.  

We may not be "chicks in a nest", but I think we can all receive a lesson or two from the mother hummingbird and her two chicks.  Just sayin!