No one needed to tell those five baby robins to open wide their mouths. It was instinct! And what a sight that was!
My husband had connected a television screen to a video camera pointing at a robin’s nest built under the eve next door. From the ease of my recliner, I was able to watch the robin family with endless fascination.
Meal delivery arrived every few minutes, supplied by untiring parents. Both father and mother shared the task. Upon their arrival, five bobbing necks would instantly shoot upwards with their flaming orange mouths opened wide for the prize.
Watching this scenario on the screen in larger-than-life size was not always pleasant. Monstrous worms, squirmy grubs, and assorted bugs were shoved down the open throats. Sometimes those creatures were still alive, still wiggling their skinny legs as they descended to their deaths. I can only assume that this was appetizing to robins. It was undoubtedly nutritious.
As I witnessed these repetitive feeding frenzies, I’d often think of God’s plea to His straying people, the Israelites:
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10b NIV)
Isn’t that still God’s plea? Do we hear it? Maybe not. For, unlike His animal creations, we humans can lose our craving for good food, God’s spiritual nurture. Oh, how that grieves our heavenly Father! He knows how it weakens us.
Imagine a father robin dangling a delicious worm over his offspring, and not one chick opens its mouth. Of course, that doesn’t happen! Yet, it certainly happens to us. In fact, I’m sensing that God is using this robin family to draw me to Himself, and once again hear Him pleading, “My child, receive from Me! Let Me love you! Let Me shelter you safely. Let Me feed you. Open wide your mouth.”
I had begun watching the nest before the eggs hatched out. I quickly found myself bonding with the mother robin, empathizing with her maternal instincts. I watched her tenderly care for her eggs. The day that they hatched, she was up and down, sitting and standing. It was a big day for her. I watched her poke her beak around in the nest to nudge her hatchlings and to clean out debris.
By watching the robins so closely, I realized that the parents provide much more than food. They provide themselves through their hovering presence. They poke their heads down to connect with each baby. I watched the wee ones snuggle under the mother’s fluffy orange breast.
Oh, how I want to know such sweet connection with my heavenly Father. I can! It’s what He promised.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4 NIV)
Maybe you’d like to pray with me like this:
Prayer: Dearest Father, You know about that unsettling concern on my mind. Help me to be like a little bird resting trustfully under Your soft, feathery breast and Your strong protecting wings. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Diane Eaton <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Paisley, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission