“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
Like the swallows of Capistrano, they finally came back—a faithful flock of beautiful cedar waxwings. They were a bit late this year, but we’ve had lingering cold this spring that may have held them up.
Some initial scouts had checked things out last month, and I thought perhaps we weren’t going to get any more. But around 30 to 40 of them arrived last week, lured by three holly trees in our yard. By evening, they had stripped every last red berry in a fluttering feeding frenzy.
They’ll move on today. We’re just a way station, an airport layover buffet on their flights between south and north. I wish they would stick around longer, but they have places to go and more berries to munch.
Before we moved to our current home, I had seen these stunning birds maybe twice in my life…now I’ve enjoyed them five years in a row. What a privilege to have a front row ticket to this seasonal backyard delight!
Cedar waxwings (bombycilla cedrorum) are like caramel-colored cardinals with fluffy crowns and black masks. In spite of their imperious appearance and strength in numbers, they’re rather timid birds. All it takes is one mockingbird to dive at them, and they all clear out temporarily. They don’t sit still for long either, making it difficult to get a clear photo shot at a distance.
But their brief presence is another gentle reminder of God’s providence. He has planned seasons like clockwork, programming His feathered creations to respond to the light and warmth changes in the tilting of the earth.
If He can set such an amazing process in motion, how much more will He be faithful to His promises for us, His children? He feeds the birds and gives them a flying apparatus to travel thousands of miles in the ever-circling pattern He has ordained. They thrive and multiply in their obedience to His commands.
Somewhere today, a wild bird will be visible to you…whether it’s a soaring hawk or a sparrow pecking at crumbs on city sidewalks. As you witness this ordinary, everyday sight, remember that the same God who gave them wings will lift your soul, too.
Loving God, Creator of miraculous creatures, thank You for giving us these lovely reminders of Your beauty and genius. Thank You for the privilege of watching them fly, and let them send our hearts and thoughts upward in praise to You. Even as You feed them, give us this day what we need in daily bread and a place to rest. Help us to be faithful to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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