I took a couple days of vacation since Luke is on spring break from school. It was wonderful getting to sleep in a little bit. When I woke up yesterday morning, Luke and I went out on the front porch to sit. He was sitting over there whittling on a little piece of wood. He said that he is going to make a fishing lure out of it. I sat there watching him, he is getting so grown. I looked in the yard and saw my beautiful bradford pear tree all in bloom. Some of the petals have fallen to the ground and it looks like a layer of snow scattered about the yard. The birds were busy, flying down from the tree to the ground to gather their food. Across the way, there were birds bathing in a small puddle in the street. I am reminded of Matthew 6:25-27,
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
Oh, this is such a beautiful truth. None of these beautiful birds flying about are aware, nor in fear of the chaos that is going on around us. The Father is providing for their needs. I closed my eyes and just began to listen to their beautiful songs. As I am listening to them, a different sound catches my attention. There is a woodpecker in the distance, just pecking away. He is working diligently to gather his meal. I think to myself, why is the Father not providing for him? Then it hits me, maybe my idea of being provided for is all askew. Maybe it doesn’t just poof and appear before me. I look back at the birds in the yard. They are swooping down to the ground and gathering their meal, then flying back to their nests to distribute it to their families. They are all working, each and every one of them! How did they know that there is food for them in my front yard? How did that woodpecker know that there is something tasty in that particular tree behind my house? I mean, there are thousands of trees around here. How do I know how to be provided for by the Father? I began to think about the mixed multitude leaving Egypt in Exodus. I remember the account of the manna that Yah provided for the people to eat while they were wondering. In Exodus 16, it talks about the people grumbling against Moses and Aaron, that they should have just stayed and died in Egypt where there were pots of meat and bread to their hearts desire. But now they were going to die out in the desert with nothing to eat. This all sounds so dramatic to me and I don’t know why, but I always chuckle at the whole pots of meat thing. But the Father heard their cries never the less, and in verses 4-6 He responds,
4Then YHWH said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. 5“On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening you will know that YHWH has brought you out of the land of Egypt;”
Bread from heaven, wow, can you even imagine! Yah also gave them very precise instruction on how to gather it. If you read on a little further, some of the people went out and got more than they needed and it turned bad. Then in another account some of them went out on the Sabbath to gather the mana, and there was none. That was not at all His instructions was it? The Father is very good at being specific on how He desires things to be done! Are we also being tested to see whether or not we will walk in His instructions? Sometimes I find myself distant from Yah and what He is guiding me to do. This is not His doing, but my lack of prayer and reading His word that gets between us sometimes. The fear and unknowing sets in when I haven’t been in close contact with my Creator like I want to.
I kind of feel like I am all over the place with this, and there are so many different directions this story is dragging me. How did I go from a woodpecker to mana? My point in all of this is that perhaps we all just need to sit down and listen to the instructions of our Heavenly Father and let Him direct our every step. By doing this, He can bless us and provide for us, and we will glorify His Holy Name. He is faithful to answer us when we cry out to Him, and we should listen to what He has to say when He does. There is no room for fear when you are in close relationship with the One who is running things and then “Shema” His words. (Shema = Hebrew word meaning to listen, to hear, to obey. See Deuteronomy 6:4 for an extra nugget 😘)