Safe Harbor

By: Bobbe Crouch

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

We moved into our house in the springtime and almost right away I noticed a bird’s nest in the wee stages of construction. A smart mama bird found a little ledge just under the roof on the back porch. A perfect place to lay eggs and a perfect place for me to get to watch the whole process knowing she wouldn’t really be threatened.

She had three little babies to feed and I watched her every day, coming and going from the nest with big worms in her mouth. The drill was always the same. If I happened to be outside grilling, she’d pop up on the fence next to me. I would always say, “Hi mama, don’t worry, I’m going” and then I’d go inside long enough for her to do her feedings. I think she learned I was not a threat and so it was kind of fun to be there and have her chirp out her morning “hello’s” and evening “good nights” to me.

One morning I opened the door to find a full-grown bird sitting in the nest. It was so big it couldn’t have been a baby, so I ran to get my glasses to be sure. When I arrived back I realized yes, it was the LAST baby…the others had already left. How in the world they had gotten so big so quickly, I’ll never know, but this one just sat there looking at me. I wondered if he was waiting to say goodbye or if he was a tad on the nervous side.

I said to him, “Go on little babe, find the mama” and poof, he took a little jump, cleared the roof and up and away he went. It was a magnificent moment…a first for me. I’ve had nests before, but I’ve never gotten to witness a bird taking it’s first flight.

What’s fun is that the mama bird continued coming past my window every morning for a long while, chirping to say hello. I think she was letting me know her babies were safe.

It makes me reflect on my own life and how silly I can be fretting over the small stuff. That little bird just jumped right out of the nest not having a clue what was on the outside, not ever seeing the grass or the trees or the sky or even knowing if it could fly. Yet poof, off he went. I giggled that he flew off over our fence right to the safe harbor of a neighboring tree and then he flew again. How would he find food? How would he be protected from the hawks that loom over head? He didn’t care, he just flew off happily free.

Such should be the case with all of us. If we could lose the part of us that second-guesses and harbors fear, how much better could our lives be? What would we do if we lived purely in the state of faith and the knowledge that no matter what, we’re protected?  God Himself promises to be with us every moment of our lives.  Why then, is it sometimes so hard to have as much blind faith as a baby bird?