What I learned from robins.

My daughter called me.

She had gone to the front porch to read a book, when suddenly a baby robin fell from its nest to the ground right in front of her!

Mom and dad robin began making a ruckus.

She sent me a video of their urgent, frantic pleas. It was hard to listen to their unadulterated panic.

Baby bird started making its way across the yard.

Dad bird flew down beside his lost child. Found! But once dad found baby bird, he flew away again toward mom bird, as if to give her the message. In that short time, baby bird went through a row of hedges and disappeared into the yard next door.

Mom and dad bird could not find the baby bird again,

and neither could my daughter. The tiny creature seemed to have been swallowed up in all the lawn and was nowhere to be found again.

So sad.

Both my daughter and I went to bed that night thinking baby bird was lost forever. I imagined mom and dad in their empty nest still grieving and distressed.

The next day I received another call.

My daughter had returned to the front porch 24 hours later to try reading there again. Mom and dad robin were still chirping as hysterically for their baby as they were the prior day!

They hadn’t stopped calling frantically.

Daughter and I talked by phone above the din in the background. There is no way baby bird was coming back, we were saying. There is no way that tiny creature was going to make it back by following the sounds of the parents’ cries.

When suddenly…a baby bird chirped.

Yes, baby bird found its way back to the correct yard and was reunited to the mom and dad robins who had never given up calling their child home.

We had given up, but not the robins.

We humans give up on some many things, don’t we? The robins didn’t know the facts, that only 25% of robins live through their first year. My daughter and I didn’t know the facts, that robins identify their babies the way we humans recognize ours – by sight and sound, not by smell. The robins didn’t know to do anything but scream through the night for their baby, while we humans, who “know” so much, give up.

  • We give up on prayer, but God tells us to always pray.

Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.
 (Ephesians 6:18)

  • We give up on our wayward children because it’s been five years now, and we haven’t see any change.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4)

  • We give up on marriage because it’s been 20 years now and it’s never been what we imagined.

“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

  • We give up and sit on the couch all day because our child irritated us this morning at breakfast. Mentally, we decided the day was over.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  (Colossians 3:13)

  • We give up on our neighbors because it’s been two years and they don’t wave back.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another….Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies…(1 Peter 4:9-11)

  • We give up on our health because the chocolate cakes looks better than the broccoli. Again. And we don’t feel like exercising. Again.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)

We give up so easily don’t we?

This body in which we are housed because of original sin has knee-jerk fleshly responses that seemingly fly out of us with a level of emotion and immediacy that continues to stun me, even this far along in my walk with Christ.

This morning I prayed

…that God would continue to root the reactive fleshly responses out of me and replace them with Spirit responses that illustrate God’s Word to the part of the world that watches me.

We can pray that prayer

…because the Bible tells us love endures: It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)

No room for lazy love.

Let’s let the relentless efforts of the mom and dad robins challenge us this week.

Picture Explanation:

Big week in our house.

   – Our youngest child started back to school.

   – My husband started new work hours.

   – I earned tenure.

   – We celebrated 27 years of marriage.

Like my robin friends, I too am learning what can happen when I never give up.

© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

13 Responses

  1. Absolutely loved your post today Laurie.Yes, as long as we have breath in our bodies, we cannot give up. The reason being God is faithful. Our human picture of faithfulness is so much smaller than His faithfulness. I often forget about all the Spiritual growth that happens in me as I wait.

  2. What a fantastic illustration of what it looks like to never give up! The examples and Scripture really spoke to me today. Too often, it’s feels easier to give up, but God has a higher calling for us. Thx for the reminder. 💛

  3. The highlight of my Sundays are reading my daily devotional, prayer time and reading your message. You always give me food for thought. Congrats for all wonderful things that have occurred for you and the family this week. Miss you lots my friend.

    1. April! Good to see you my friend. It warms my heart to think of you reading my blog on Sunday mornings. Been missing you. Love you so much.

  4. A good word, Laurie. Keeping on together.

    It reminds me of a little marble box I bought which had inscribed on the top:
    Give up!

    I presented it to a man who was just getting out of rehab after signing himself in at 70 y.o.(!) and to his wife who had been given 3 weeks to live and managed to stay alive for 35 years! He never went back to drinking and when she did leave this world, the family in her honor presented a rock with that same message at the entrance of a residence for patients with traumatic brain injuries where she worked to inspire them to keep on keeping on for decades to come. Others found ways to keep that visual reminder in front of them.
    “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up,”
    Gal. 6:9.

    Happy Anniversary!!

  5. Hi, Friend. Thank you for this vivid illustration of the Father’s pursuit of us and of the baby robin’s fortitude and faith in responding to the calls of its parents!

    We lose heart so easily when we don’t keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and on his voice as he calls us.

    Congrats to you both in celebrating your anniversary and to you, Laurie, for earning tenure!

    1. I like your focus from the baby bird’s perspective instead of the parent’s perspective that I focused on. Yes, the baby responded and came home. May we always do what it takes to stay close to the Father too.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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