My kids think I'm sad. Not sad as unhappy, but sad as a loser! There are many reasons for this, but near the top of the list is my excitement at seeing wildlife. By wildlife I don't mean spotting lion on safari in Africa or the boa constrictor while travelling up the Amazon, but rather seeing a robin on my bird table. I am enchanted by pretty common small birds turning up to feast on the food I put out for them.

So this morning when I looked up and saw a woodpecker tucking into my peanuts I was overjoyed! I called out to everyone else in the house and they dutifully stopped eating cereal to gaze upon the wonders of the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Despite a name that shouts rarity, sadly this is a pretty common bird. Not sad for me of course!

My excitement continued as I walked the dog. There were deer sunning themselves in a field beside the footpath. There was blossom on the trees. There was another woodpecker on a branch and the constant drumming of all his little woodpecker friends around me. I found myself thanking God for the wonder of creation. Quite a feat considering I was never out of ear shot of the busy A3.

One of the UK's best loved hymns reflects on the wonder of God in creation:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!

The thing is that a lot of the time my bird table appears to be cursed! Not even a malnourished sparrow will come near it. Though..."The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." ...according to Psalm 19:1, they seem to be regularly silent in my garden. That's why, though we look on creation and wonder at God's power and goodness, it is not the primary source of our joy. That comes in the next verse of the hymn:

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,

He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!

It is by looking to another tree, not one filled with spring blossom, but dead and used to make a cross, that we see most clearly that God is for us. It was as the sky went black and the bird song stopped, that Jesus died so that I might be blessed by the God I had rejected. That means whatever the season of my soul, I know that I am loved.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Time to re-fill my bird feeder!

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