Persistence leads to good things of God

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008

Bird feeders are a source of simple entertainment. It is interesting to see what will come to feed on the seeds and suet.

Little birds like chickadees, redpolls, and nuthatches as well as larger Steller's jays, gray jays and the occasional grosbeak show up. Even a few woodpeckers will appear and load up on suet.

A small bird feeder hung in a bush outside the hotel room I stayed at in Oregon one spring. It was an inverted "T," with the seeds "globbed" on where the dowels came together. Small birds could land on the ends of the horizontal stick and feed, but larger birds would tip the "T" too much and slide off.

I watched as a bird the size of a robin tried to get at the seeds. It couldn't land on the feeder because of the tipping. When it landed on the branch above the feeder, the branch wouldn't bend enough, and the branch below bent too much.

I was amazed to see how the bird figured out a way. It landed on the feeder with one foot on a horizontal end and the other foot on the vertical. Carefully balancing while doing the splits, the bird quickly fed on the seeds.

How persistent are we to get what we need or desire? It sometimes seems that things detrimental to health and wellbeing are pursued relentlessly while blessings that God offers to seekers are ignored if not easily or immediately obtained.

In Luke 12, Jesus mentioned sparrows and ravens in his teaching. His message was if God is concerned with birds and cares for them, surely his love and concern for us is much greater.

However, in the preceding chapter, Jesus taught about asking, seeking and knocking. He gave the example of a father giving good things to his son not a stone if his son asks for bread, a serpent if his son asks for fish or a scorpion if he asks for an egg. He then made a powerful promise in Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Jesus likened desiring spiritual blessings to being as necessary as daily food. He used that theme several times, as in Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

When teaching about the Spirit, he used the need for water to emphasize spiritual thirst. He talked to the woman at the well in John 4 about a well of living water. He shouted the promise of the Spirit for those who thirst in John 7. His message was that partaking of his Spirit is as necessary and satisfying as a good supply of water. It also shows his Spirit is available to all and the cost was paid.

Hungering and thirsting are daily experiences. That is why the Lord taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread "

Have you gotten your divine, daily allotment? Like the bird that persisted in finding a way to get to the seeds, let us likewise seek those good things of God.

Mitch Glover is the pastor at Sterling United Pentecostal Church at Swanson River Road and Entrada Drive. On Sunday, informative classes for all ages begin at 10 a.m. Worship service begins at 11 a.m. Bible study and children's church are on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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