DEUTERONOMY 7:17-19: “Suppose you say in your heart, ‘These nations are more numerous than I—how can I drive them out?’ You are not to be afraid of them. You are to be sure to remember what ADONAI your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs and wonders, and the mighty hand and outstretched arm by which ADONAI your God brought you out. So will ADONAI your God do to all the peoples you fear.” TLV
OBSERVATION: How can I move this mountain? Have you ever been faced with a problem that seemed insurmountable? Think of what the Children of Israel felt like when they looked at the nations that stood between them and God’s promise. They knew they were outnumbered. The math just didn’t make sense. Yet, the Lord said – “You are not to be afraid of them. You are to be sure to remember what ADONAI your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt…”
As I was reading these verses my cat let out a cry that I am familiar with. It is a chattering sound that he makes when an approaching bird comes into view. Yet, this was not a sparrow or a cardinal, familiar birds in our backyard. These birds darted back and forth in the air like trained dive-bombers. There could be only one type of bird that would elicit such excitement from my cat Rounder.
The barn swallows were back!
Over the years I have had a love-hate relationship with the barn swallow. They have chosen to build a nest each year in my front and back porch. We usually have at least two clutches of little swallows in each, and the mess they make is quite a nuisance. I have tried to dissuade them many times. However, the little barn swallow is not bothered by my size, or even how many times I have removed their nest. There is something within these little birds that keeps them courageous and willing to overcome every obstacle they face.
I have written about these little birds before, but this morning after reading this Scripture, and after seeing them once again darting in the air, my curiosity was peaked again. I asked my wife, “Where do they come from each year.” She Googled it and found out that these little birds fly from South America each year to North America. Many travel over 10,000 kilometers each year in their migratory trek. I was amazed. I get weary when I simply have to drive to Dallas from Weatherford. How could these little birds make such a trip? Many of these courageous little birds do this for up to four years or more?
Jesus used birds to teach us about faith. He said,
- “Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26 TLV
In essence Jesus was comparing the unwavering faith of the birds of the air to teach us about our need to trust the Lord. Israel was not the largest or the strongest nation on the earth. However, they were the nation of promise, the nation of covenant, the nation of the Lord God of Hosts. What they could not do in their own strength, He would do for them. All they needed to do was trust in Him, abide in His Word, and be willing to walk in the pathway that He established.
I think this is what the little barn swallow does instinctively. God has given them this sense of purpose and determination to complete their long migratory trip each year. In Texas we are one of the first states to see these little birds, but many of them will make their way even to Alaska. I exclaimed to my wife, “I have a new found respect and admiration for these birds!” They have taught me so much about faith, determination, and purpose. They have challenged my weak faith.
I need to trust the Lord like the barn swallow!
This year there are two nests waiting for two pairs of barn swallows. I almost wish I could post a sign on them saying – “Welcome Home! Well done my little friends!” And this is exactly what the Lord will say when we are called home. As we walk in faith, as we abide in His Word, as we seek first His Kingdom, when we have finished our long migratory journey called life – He will welcome us with open arms and we will hear these words,
- “…Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:21 NKJV
So little barn swallow – thank you! May I walk in such a tenacious and obedient faith as you exemplify each and every year. Welcome home! I will be glad to clean up after you :).
In Jesus Name!