When God Moves the Nest

Babies on the Porch

A mama wren built a nest on our front porch this month. She chose a bookcase that will eventually move upstairs. For several weeks now, my boys have checked the nest daily. After many peeks, four little eggs were spotted, nestled deep in the moss, sticks, and leaves.

Three days ago, we checked on the eggs and found four little mouths, ready for the opera, greeting us as we peeked inside. Baby birds—well, baby anything—get special treatment at our house. I have two animal-loving little boys and one animal-loving big boy (AKA my husband), so animal babies generate extra excitement.

Several times a day we checked on the babies. Many moments, our presence on the porch spooked mama bird and she’d buzz past us. Other times we stood in the yard watching her bring food to her little ones.

As I walked toward the shelf yesterday morning, the nest was broken up and scattered on the porch. Four featherless, feeble babies were strewn in different directions, cold to the touch. I gathered up the pieces of nest, trying to recreate the warmth and familiarity of their home. Gently, I picked up each bird, warmed them in my hands, and grouped the four of them together in the nest to generate body heat.

I rushed inside, called a knowledgeable bird source, and began soaking dog food in a bowl of water. If I could keep the birds alive, she would take them to the animal refuge the following day. But only if I could keep them alive.


Steps Toward Survival

Three times yesterday, I walked onto the porch, mimicking a mama bird’s peeping sound. Each time, three of the four little mouths popped open, ready for a taste of food. The fall from the previous day must have damaged the fourth baby because I never could get his mouth opened. I used tweezers and separated the moist dog food into small pieces and gave each baby a taste. I kept hearing my friend’s words – if I could just keep them alive.

Confidently, I wrapped a sock around the opening of the nest to trap the warmth and told the babies good night. A predator must have gotten mama bird because she had been missing in action for two days, but I knew the babies had enough sustenance to make it through the night. They were mere hours away from getting a new home.

I opened the front door this morning, ready to see thriving babies. Ready to call my friend. I peeped like a mama bird several times as I peeked around the corner. Shocked, I found the nest moved out of its spot and none of the babies in it.

Turning in circles, I looked and peeped, hoping they had fallen out. I combed the yard and the gaps in the porch slats. My sons peeped and looked too. But no matter how hard we called or searched, there were no baby birds.


Hard Lessons

We went inside and I had the circle of life talk with two sad, little boys. God created some animals to be predators and those defenseless baby birds were easy prey without a mama bird to watch over them. By saving them, rebuilding the nest, and feeding them we did what we could to provide hope for those babies. But in the end, we couldn’t change the circumstances. And we didn’t have any answers to why.

Later in the day, as I sat in my recliner, silence filled my house while the noise of life pounded in my heart. I thought through the hard moments of the past few months. Relationships. Difficult conversations. Big decisions. Changes. Physical challenges. Shaky health. Family sickness. Many unknowns. Emotional struggles. This season that was supposed to bring calm and newness has instead left me weary and depleted.

Like I’d done with the baby birds, I keep looking around the corner hoping to find life; desperately clinging on to hope – that answers will come, stress will relent, and life will resume with a hint of normalcy. I’ve tried rebuilding my faith through reciting truths and promises. Daily, I’ve continued feeding myself with God’s Word and staying connected with other believers. In all areas, I’ve done everything I know to do, but I can’t change how my body is responding to life right now.

When My Nest is Moved

This week, as I peeked around the corner, my nest was moved, and hope had fallen out on the ground. All I could see was defeat closing in from every direction. I’ve trusted my body to carry me and push me through every hard situation in life, even when my mind was already tapped out. My body is the one thing I could always depend on. Even though I am often tired and sore, I’ve always been able to take one more step. Make one more leap. Push one more lift.

But lately, my body is letting me down. It’s left me cold and vulnerable on the porch. Weak. Strained. And unpredictable. I have to choose only one physical activity to participate in each day, and then schedule time for rest. If I try to do too much, my body just quits.

I don’t know how to do this. I’ve always been able to carry the load. I’m Superwoman. I can push through. Even when life is throwing darts from all sides. Not only have I always been able to carry it all, but I have also been able to help everyone else by carrying all of theirs too.


Learning to Trust God, Not My Body

Even as I write these words, the truth is hard to face—so many times I’ve trusted in my own strength instead of God’s. I’ve built my own nest with all the right elements of the original design, but it wasn’t what my mama bird (AKA God) had in mind. I’ve tried to feed myself instead of allowing him to feed my soul. And I’ve trusted in my own abilities and strengths instead of leaning on him and seeking his direction.

With the predators of life laying in wait for our hearts, no wonder we get defeated and lose hope. Now’s the time to throw up my hands and trust that God knows best. He’s allowed all these outside factors and circumstances. He’s allowed the instability that I feel. And he’s allowed my body to reach capacity.

I guess all that’s left is surrender; stop doing it all in my own strength. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

Dear Father, thank you for exposing my lack of trust. Even though I don’t understand it or like it, thank you for bringing me to this place of total dependence on you. Help me see the hope that is just around the corner and not get bogged down in the mud of defeat. Thank you for showing me that I’ve done all I can do and it’s time to get out of the way and trust you with all of it. Be my strength, oh God, because I have nothing left to give.

(for more on surrender, read Sweet Surrender)

Copyright Christy Bass Adams, May 2023; All images from Canva

Christy Bass Adams

Christy Bass Adams, is the Outreach and Connections Coordinator at Fellowship Baptist Church in Madison, Florida. She is also a writer and had her first devotional book published in summer of 2022 (Big Lessons from Little People) followed by a middle grades novel (Imagination Checkers) in the fall. Her most important role, however, is with her family as a wife of 18 years and mother to two busy boys. She worked in education for over 18 years at both the elementary and collegiate levels. Her favorite pastimes are fishing and sitting around a fire. For more from Christy, visit her blog at christybassadams.com.

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