On a warm winter day, a flock of birds clustered around the bird feeders in the back yard of my parents’ home. You see, we’d been feeding these birds for years. In fact, we’d fed them so long they’d risen to “pet status”, and frequently, we even bought gourmet seeds when we could find it. It seemed like birds of all sizes and colors knew our address and made it theirs for the winter. Mom watched it all from the kitchen window. As the birds moved from the feeders to the ground, she noticed that the birdseed was nearly gone. Calling to Dad, she told him the feeders were about empty. Dad was shuffling through the garage, with gritty sandpaper, putty, and a variety of putty knives scattered across his work table. Just as mom had called through the door to Dad, he yelled back through the door that he’d get the birdseed when he finished with the putty.
By the evening, Dad had finished his work in the garage and made his way to his chair in the den. As she stirred the green beans in preparation for dinner, Mom reminded him that the bird feeders were still empty. There was a short exchange about birdseed, how much was left in the bag, and how much the birds were eating, but no movement toward the yard. It had gotten much colder and now, the evening sky had become clouded. Nobody was moving out of the house that night.
True to form for winter in the South, the most beautiful, warm winter day had given way overnight to pouring snow the next morning. Though the snow was coming down steadily, the cardinals and brown thrushes were dancing furiously at the bottom of the feeder, trying to find the spilled seed before the snow completely covered it. Other birds were pecking, making what sounded like a knocking sound on the plastic part the feeder. Mom met Dad at the bottom of the stairs with snow boots and the bag of bird seed, and while Dad slipped the boots on, I heard him muttering as he made his way to the bird feeders.
As I grew up, that scene was repeated every winter. The birds ate, the snow fell, and somehow, the birdseed made it to the feeder when it was needed. I watched my parents’ fondness for the birds, and as a Christian, I thought many times about this scene and Luke 12:24 where Christ reminds us all how much He cares about us, using the birds as His example. He said they don’t work or reap the seeds they eat, nor are they capable of building a barn to store seeds, but God sees to it that they have what they need. Then, He says how much more valuable we are than the birds. He feeds and cares for them, and because he values us even more, He cares even more for us.
I watched through the years as bird feeders went up, came down when they decayed, and new ones took their place. Birdseed was always delivered. Even as I watch birds feed in my own yard or see them in the field now, I remember the birdseed in the feeders. I may not eat a birdseed, but I know I can trust the Lord that He will always provide what I need. God may use a multitude of ways to provide, but He always provides.