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My wife says that her favorite birds are finches. They seem to be as curious about her as she is about them because sometimes they come perch on the window sill and look in at her. Finches can be bright yellow-gold and black to shades of red and brown. “Purple” finch males are very deep red. Finches seem, because of their songs and sociability, to be happy. But since bird feeders have only so many places from which to eat, they chase each other away constantly. Sometimes the younger, littler birds are on the ground looking for seeds that the bigger ones have dropped. All birds do that, I guess, and when a substantially larger bird comes close the smaller ones all fly away at once.
What is interesting is that they don’t fly away very far. It seems that the ones who still want to eat fly away to a nearby tree, perch, and wait. They wait until the bigger ones leave and then they come back to eat their fill. There is never any real fighting over the food – just the seemingly patient waiting, watching, and returning. The big birds have the prize for the time being, but they always leave eventually.
How many times have I wanted something right now, and not been very gracious about waiting? How many times have I asked God “how long?” How many times have I pushed to get what I wanted when I knew it wasn’t the best timing?
Our self-will is very strong, which is why there is so much in the Bible about our need for patience. Our biggest foe in waiting isn’t others who are bigger or more powerful than us; our biggest foe – by far – is ourselves.
We should take a lesson from the little birds. There is nothing wrong with being persistent, but patience wins the day.
One other thought, too: when I get greedy, someone else may go hungry. I need to remember that and practice moderation and generosity!
PRAYER: Thank you for teaching us lessons through your creation, and giving us reminders that we need! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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