I've been waiting patiently. Waiting and watching now for several months. Waiting for the birds to find the feeder I set up for them them this winter.
I set up feeders in the spring and summer, when it is easier for me to get out and about in the yard, but until this year, I hadn't put feed out for the birds in the winter.
I was inspired to do so by two events. One being, I saw this picture, and thought how lovely it would be to look out my window and see the birds feeding up close. The other event that inspired me to set up a winter feeder was actually a thought that came from pondering how to encourage a younger Christian. This younger Christian admittedly has a rough road, and has great need. Choices made earlier in life have led to long term consequences. Consequences that damper her spirit greatly. In hearing her story and visiting with her, I asked if she reads the Word of God. She glanced down and softly said, "No, not much". She is in fellowship with other Christians, coming to worship as she can, and attends some of the social get togethers, yet she is filled with a longing that isn't being filled. I have tried gently to lead her to her own personal study of the Word of God. I have prayed she will realize that people will never fill her, in fact they will fail her. Only by coming to the food of the Word, the soul strengthening food that fills and strengthens, will she find the hope, peace, and contentment that evades her. But until she can find her own food, I believe it is up to others farther along in the faith to set the food before her.
It was this realization that made me want to feed the birds in the winter. There are some seasons it is easy for them to be fed, and others seasons, in particular winter, when it is much more difficult for them to find food. I believe the same can be said of us humans as well.
And so, it was with much excitement that the bird feeder was set up. I just knew that almost instantly the birds would flock to the feeder. Daily I was met with disappointment, not a single bird had come to my feeder. It was just outside my kitchen window, so many many times a day I looked upon it with disappointment...no birds. No bird was coming to the food I had lovingly and excitedly set out for them.
I was at the point of removing the feeder or putting different feed in it, when one morning I looked out and three little finches had found the feeder! I happened to be on the phone as I saw the birds, and shouted out with utter joy...totally abandoning the phone conversation. The person I was talking to must have thought something totally wonderful and amazing had just happened at the sound of my giddiness. "The birds found the feeder, the birds found the feeder, they're eating the food!," I exclaimed as I returned to the conversation. This person understood and forgave my inattention to our conversation.
How silly was I, I thought, to be so excited about something so little. Or was it? I wondered out loud to my husband who was equally happy-though not shouting out giddy as I- that the birds had found the feeder. "Do you think perhaps God gets as excited when we finally find the food of the Word? Do you think He patiently waits for us to come to His feeder - every day, and has such joy when we do?", I asked my husband.
I know I will have much joy when the young Christian woman I am trying to mentor in Christ finally gets it, when she finally discovers and goes daily to the word of God for her joy, her strength, her encouragement. But until she does, until she finds it, I and others will put food out for her- in this hard season of her life- this winter of hers.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called to be Yours, O Lord, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
May we all find the words, eat of them, and let the words sink deep into our being, becoming a delightful feast.
And while we are feasting, remember others, be it birds or people who have a hard time finding the food.