|In my garden|
But probably my most favourite thing about springtime is listening for the cheery singing of the birds in my yard. Nothing brings a quick smile to my face quite like awakening to the warbling of the first robin or the delightful trill of a song sparrow. Is there anyone else out there who shares my enthusiasm? Do bird calls just fill your heart with joy as they do mine?
|This fellow appeared on February 7!|
In order to become skilled at recognizing the various bird calls, you have to first of all study about them. I like to read books about birds, listen to bird sounds on the internet or watch nature DVD’s. Then I practice listening by taking what I’ve learned out into my backyard, a park, the beach, or the forest. I watch the birds and listen to what calls they make and why. I’ve learned to identify, for example, the difference between the song of a robin and its warning call. Of course, I’m pretty much an amateur, but I enjoy this hobby. I admire those who are much more committed to this pursuit than me and those who actually make it their life’s work.
In its simplest form, learning about the calls of our feathered friends just helps us to be more appreciative of our Creator God and the diversity with which He has created the thousands of bird species.
There is another call in life that we must learn to identify. It takes years of learning, observing, and fine-tuning our ear to become skillful at recognizing and following this call. It is the call that comes from God’s heart. In many of Paul’s letters to churches and individuals, he often mentioned the calling of God. It refers to the invitation of God to two types of people.
First of all, God calls sinners to repentance and forgiveness. It is the desire of God’s heart that all come to Him, recognizing their inability to pay the price to secure their salvation. That’s why He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to take the punishment we all deserve. Romans 4:25 says, “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God.” (NLT)
Secondly, God calls those who have received Him as Saviour to live in holiness. We read in I Thessalonians 4:7, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” He also calls us to hope. While we live in this present life on earth we are assured of God’s presence with us through His Spirit which indwells us and gives us daily guidance and strength to please Him. We also live with our eyes focused on the promise of actually one day being in the presence of God and spending eternity with Him. This is the future inheritance we look forward to. We enjoy a common hope as believers that even though we come from many different backgrounds, we will all stand together before the throne of God and worship Him in unity. We are also called by God to live in peace with one another and to serve each other in the spirit of love which comes from His heart.
Trying to do all that God has called us to be and do is a very daunting task! But He doesn’t leave us to do it alone. When God calls you, He gives you whatever you need to fulfill that call. He promises to be with you, to go with you, to never leave you or forsake you! He also promises to strengthen you, hold your hand, and help you.
|In my garden|
Until next Sunday,
P.S. I had the joy and privilege of presenting an expanded version of the above to our women's group last Wednesday morning. We had a fun time trying to identify twenty bird calls I had recorded - there were some pretty attentive bird enthusiasts there!