Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Lesson from Freddie the Bird

This morning, as I was preparing to go to work, I happened to look out the window and into our backyard.  On the side of our deck, I saw a number of young birds perched.  The birds had obviously just recently learned to fly, and they still had some of their early, soft feathers.  Some of the young birds were fluttering to and fro, down to the ground, and then back up onto the deck.

However, there was one bird who didn't seem to want to move all that much.  Freddie, as I called him, just sat as low as he possibly could on the edge of the siding, occasionally getting a bit frightened if one of his fellow fledglings flew too close.  Come on, Freddie! I thought. Why don't you fly like all the rest of your little bird buddies?

As I watched the fledglings, I realized that we, too, can be a lot like Freddie.  God has so much planned for us, but we too often don't experience the amazing things that God has in store.  So how do we tap into God's incredible life plot?  Just like Freddie, there are a few things we have to do.

1. We need to get our adult feathers.  In order to fly, birds can't keep the same soft feathers they used to have.  They need feathers fit for flying, and so do we.  Our "feathers" are our understanding of the deep truths of the Word of God.  Paul explains this as moving from the "milk" to the "meat" of the Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:12-14).  We can't expect the fruit of a godly life without first basking in the light of the Word of God.

2.  We need to drop our baby feathers.  While this may seem to be equivalent to the first point, there's another aspect to losing our old feathers.  As Christians, we tend to carry around lingering attitudes and beliefs, which we had before we were saved.  It's critical that we leave these behind!  Any behavior that does not match that of Christ must be removed from our lives, for it will destroy us (see Romans 6).  This requires that we allow God to examine our hearts and show us what we need to change (Psalm 139:23-24).

3.  We need to jump.  We've all heard the cliche: "Take a leap of faith!"  To some, this phrase means practically nothing, but it's imperative to learn to jump out of our own comfort zones and into God's will, for the two are seldom the same.  The Bible says that we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).  We may not understand what our Father is doing or why He wants us to do this or that, but He has called us to follow Him regardless.

Sometimes, even birds are afraid to fly.  But how sad would it be, though, if they never tried, and completely missed out on God's wonderful gift of soaring through the skies!  Our Savior has an impeccable plan for each of our lives (so much better than the ability to fly!), but we are too complacent in our own lives to experience it.

I find comfort in the fact that the Maker of the universe knows when a single bird falls from the sky (Matthew 10:29-31).  We are so much more loved that birds.  How much more will our Abba Father guide and protect us as move past our Freddie-like fear and leap into His glorious will!