Hummingbird witness

Coming for a drink

Coming for a drink

A few short minutes after I hung the feeder on my porch this summer, hummingbirds showed up for a drink.

I had been noticing the tiny birds darting around our front window as soon as the weather started getting warmer. It was as if they remembered the sweet red liquid from the year before and came right back with expectation.

Now as summer is growing increasingly short, I’ve been remiss to continue filling the feeder with nectar. It’s been several weeks since I’ve mixed the sugar water for the hummingbirds, and I thought they’d scout out new digs for a tasty drink. Yet, several times a day, the same hummingbirds come back and flit toward the feeder, hoping for a drink.

They just keep coming.

Watching these hummingbirds touch down for a drink, returning again and again, challenges me in my faith.

I need to persist in prayer.
Jesus tells a parable in Luke 18:1-8 about a woman who refused to give up in receiving justice, and repeatedly came before a wicked judge with her request. She kept coming, and kept asking, and the judge eventually gave in to her request just to get her to stop! This woman was determined for justice to prevail, and she would not stop until the judge did what was right.

Just as the hummingbirds keep coming back to the feeder, God wants me to persist in prayer. If even a bad judge will finally relent, how much more will my Savior respond with His faithful love? I must keep praying, and let God shape my heart and my circumstances.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
– Matthew 7:7-8

I need to be satisfied with every taste of God’s goodness.
A Greek woman approached Jesus with great need. Her precious daughter was possessed by a demon, and though this woman wasn’t a Jew, she knew only Jesus could save her baby girl. Matthew and Mark record in their gospels that the woman came near and kept asking Jesus to heal her daughter, to the point that the disciples wanted Jesus to send her away because she was making such a commotion.

He said to her, “Allow the children to be satisfied first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

But she replied to Him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
– Mark 7:27-28

The woman knew just a taste of Jesus’s words, just a touch of His power, would transform her family. She was willing to be fed crumbs under the table if that meant experiencing God’s healing and grace.

Even though my feeder is essentially empty, the hummingbirds continue to come for the hope of just a taste of nectar, just a sip to satisfy. Jesus saw the woman’s faith in her response, her humility and her hope, and healed her daughter that very moment. Help me have that kind of belief, Lord, and be grateful for every morsel You give!

I need to cling to Jesus with expectation.
My hummingbirds won’t leave. They know that feeder is a source for food, even if it is delayed.

During Jesus’s ministry here on earth, a point came when many who had followed Him struggled with His teachings. The road of discipleship became difficult, and they bailed.

Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”

Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!”
– John 6:67-69

Jesus was Peter’s source for life. He is my life, too. He is who I need most in this world. I won’t leave because He is my salvation.

The hummingbirds even now circling my porch have it right. They will not give up. They keep coming with expectation. They continue to act on their hope.

I want that same witness. Jesus will never fail me. My life’s story should prove I believe it.

Now, it’s time to fill the feeder.

Journey to the Manger: Simeon

Jackson and Lauren show their art project puzzles of Simeon.

Jackson and Lauren show their art project puzzles of Simeon.

We met another friend today in the Temple on our Journey to the Manger: a righteous man named Simeon.

Simeon

Simeon

Simeon was given an amazing promise from God. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah, the Savior of Israel. Many think that Simeon was an old man by the time he entered the Temple in Luke Chapter 2. Even though Simeon’s age was not recorded, we do know that he believed wholeheartedly in God’s Word. He knew He would see the Christ, and lived each day accordingly.

Some may have been discouraged or even disheartened when time continued to pass with no consolation. Yet, when Simeon woke up each morning, he knew he was one day closer to seeing God’s promise fulfilled. He continued to believe and make himself available to be moved by God.

It becomes easier to make a basket the closer you get!

It becomes easier to make a basket the closer you get!

Today we tried out our basketball skills, attempting to score points in the trash can. First, we started half a room away from the basket. Amazingly, Lauren actually got one in! Each round, we moved one step closer to the goal, until we stood right in front of the can and shot every ball in.

The longer Simeon lived, the more his hope must have grown. He knew God would do what He said. As the time added up, the possibility grew that He would see the Messiah that day. Finally, the Holy Spirit guided him to the Temple the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to complete what was required under the law. Simeon couldn’t contain himself! He knew this child was the one he had waited for. Simeon took Jesus into his arms and held Him close. He praised his Heavenly Father for such a gift!

Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised. For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples—a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.

– Luke 2:29-32

Simeon never gave up. He believed God’s promise, and knew he would one day see the Savior. Not only did he behold Jesus with his own eyes, he was able to hold Him in his arms.

When we grow weary believing, or struggle to hold on to what God has promised, we must remember that we are one day closer to seeing God’s Word fulfilled. Just like Simeon, we can hold on to Jesus and find peace. Don’t give up! God’s promises are sure.

 

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.