August 26, 2015 Ponder
The woodpecker taps the tree trunk with its beak and then turns its head from side to side, apparently listening for sounds inside the tree. Eventually, it picks a certain spot and with jackhammer intensity removes chunks of wood and enjoys a meal of bugs. How does the bird know to do this? Did someone teach it?
Hummingbirds, with wings that move so fast we cannot see them, build a nest near that of a hawk. Apparently, the hawk has no interest in the hummingbirds’ tiny bodies as food and actually provides protection for them. Where did these creatures learn to make this arrangement? Did they just happen to figure it out?
A crow is no match in size for battle with an eagle, but it has the ability to harass the larger bird to the point that it will fly away and let the crow dominate the area. I wonder how this relationship developed? It seems out of step with the typical routine of the larger dominating the smaller.
What makes the geese of the northlands travel south in winter and return in the spring? Who told the swallows to return to San Juan Capistrano on a certain day every year? How do delicate butterflies manage to journey at distances humans would find difficult or impossible under the same conditions? What is behind these amazing creatures that motivates them to do what they do?
It is important for humans to take the time to observe nature’s wonders and consider its many reminders of Creator God. Birds are just one of these reminders and they appear often in the Bible. Luke 12:24 says that they do not plant or harvest or have any storage facilities, but God feeds them. When Jesus compared these creatures to humans, He said that we have far more value. We can watch birds and be reminded of God’s thoughts toward us.
Perhaps we need to combine a nature walk with our Bible reading. Intense digging into the Scriptures is valuable, but some “woodpecker theology” helps us know Who Creator God really is. Pondering nature is a good use of our time when we let it guide our thoughts toward the Creator.
Pastor Bill Ehmann