I never thought I’d be one those people who grew up and talked about birds. I never thought I’d love birds, be interested in their calls and the differences in how they function. I remember once getting a bird feeder as a gift when I was a child. It was a green stone frog sitting on a green stone lily pad. I’m pretty sure I never even set it out…I had no interest.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to enjoy my time out in the backyard. I have a swing I received for an anniversary gift out there that I absolutely love. I enjoy observing the lizards as they do their morning pushups, trying to impress a nearby lady lizard. I love the eerie howls of the coyotes in their packs. I love the hummingbirds that have absolutely no fear of us, hovering right next to our heads as we stare in amazement. Most of all, I love the birds.
One of my favorite animals that I have especially come to enjoy in this season is the Mockingbird. Every Spring they get extremely vocal mimicking all the birds in the surrounding areas. They have the most beautiful call I’ve ever heard. Look them up…you’ll see what I mean. I have become particularly fond of watching the father mockingbirds as they protect the eggs of their newly inhabited nests. In fact, we recently had a baby bird escape from its nest and after many attempts at placing it back, it became obvious that the bird was ready for some independence. We watched for days as the little bird flapped its wings trying to lift its body into the air. We wanted so badly to help it fly. As this baby bird began its journey of growth and independence, its parents were nearby watching…never letting it out of their sight. For some reason, black birds love to attack the mockingbird nests; and those birds were on the prowl, ready to attack.
What I grew to love over the next few days was watching that faithful father mockingbird spend his entire day warding off these black birds. He makes a strangely unique sound and dive bombs any bird that could potentially become a danger. Just yesterday I watched as this brave father bird chased off a hawk, triple his size! His little one is unaware of the potential for danger, but the father is not, and he is right there, ready to protect. The blackbirds, however, do not easily give up…they are just as persistent as the father mockingbird. They fly as close to the nest as possible landing on a branch nearby and wait for the perfect opportunity to sneak in. It never comes. In all of my years sitting outside and watching these birds, I have never seen the blackbird actually succeed in his attempts at thievery. There is no opportunity. The father mockingbird goes on the attack as soon as the blackbird is spotted…even if it is minding its own business, the father will attack the bird incessantly until the blackbird finally retreats and leaves the area. The father is determined. The father is protective, watchful, and mindful of anything that could possibly present any type of threat. The father is faithful, and his child has no need to worry, no need to doubt.
It is hard to observe all of this and not think of our own Faithful Father. From the beginning of time the Lord has been consistent in his attempts to rescue us from the danger of the enemy: from deception. See in our vulnerability we are easily drawn towards things that we believe are good, that we believe will look out for our best interests, that will protect us, and love us, so when anything begins to even look like it may fit the part, we are drawn to it.
Any time spent in scripture would reveal this very thing. Eve, in her quest for independence, believed the lie the Deceiver sold. Abraham, Moses, David, Samson, Israel and so many others, in their attempts at independence, began to believe the lie that anything BUT God could satisfy them. They were drawn to danger. They wouldn’t see it for what it was. But, our faithful father has not blinded by deception. He has constantly been on the attack, constantly seeking to protect, and constantly providing a way out. It is his nature. It is who He is.
Isaiah 43:1b says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” Why? Why does Israel get this type of protection? The Faithful Father continues in verse 3, “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior.” He knows our propensity for danger, yet, the Lord is consistent. The Lord is persistent. The Lord is a protector, provider, shield and refuge for his children. He is their Savior…OUR Savior.
As I sit and watch the faithful father mockingbird I am reminded of the faithfulness of our own Father. As we wander around in our helpless state, making our own attempts at flight, he is there. He is on the prowl…looking for anything that might endanger, and when he finds it, he provides every way of escape from it. Psalm 3:3 (The Passion Translation) says, “But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you, Yahweh, have become my shield; you take me and surround me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You lift high my head.” It is in our most vulnerable position that the Lord comes running to our aide; to shield, deliver, and be a refuge. He loves his children, wants his children safe, and even fought to the death to ensure it for all of us.