I was doing some yard work the other day when I noticed what looked like a little black ball underneath the mimosa tree. As I came closer, I realized it was a baby bird. I looked up and could see the nest–about 10 feet high in the fork between two branches. Mom, a yellow billed cuckoo, was sitting up there with two other hatchlings visible beside her.
My wife and I debated about what to do. The chick on the ground seemed no worse for wear. Should we put it back in the nest? A quick internet search told us that birds have a poor sense of smell and don’t normally reject a chick handled by humans. But we also found a warning to not disturb migratory birds or their young. Well, our apologies to the wildlife service, but we decided to intervene.
I grabbed a six foot step ladder, put on some disposable gloves and waited. Before too long, mother bird decided to run some errands, and that’s when I sprang into action. Positioning the ladder under the tree, I gently picked up the baby bird, and put him back in the nest with his siblings. Mom returned a few minutes later with some food and all was well.
This whole scene brought to mind a promise from Psalm 91: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge (vv. 1, 4a).”
Obviously, the little hatchling didn’t fall out of the nest on purpose, but his predicament also reminds me of something Jesus said when he arrived in Jerusalem before that last Passover.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.Matthew 23:37
The application to the body of Christ is clear. In the nest (fellowship of believers) we are safe in God’s care. However, outside the nest, we are vulnerable to predators.
Satan and his demon goons are like lions on the savanna–waiting to cull one of God’s children from the herd (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy seeks to separate Christians from each other, because he knows this: when we stray from the fellowship, we are alone and defenseless (Matthew 9:36).
To enjoy God’s best, we must stay in the nest!
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!Psalm 133:1