One morning, I came downstairs to the kitchen and looked out of the window. There, gathered around the bird table in the garden outside were six maybe eight blackbirds. They were waiting for me. Snow had fallen again in the night. It was falling again now. Deep. Instead of getting my breakfast I took two large jugs and filled them with birdseed from the garage. I took out a large handful of dried fruit – the sultanas the blackbirds love - and filled up a bowl with new water. I went out to feed them. The blackbirds all waited, watching from the trellis, the garden wall, the prunus tree overhanging the garden.
No-one stirred. When I had cleared the paving, I filled up the bird feeders (ones the blackbirds can’t reach and wouldn’t like anyway). And then I scattered my big handful of sultanas across the area followed by a jugful of sunflower seeds, scattered across the cleared ground.
I picked up the broom and the empty jugs and - even before I had broken the ice on the pond the blackbirds had rushed down to enjoy the feast. They had been waiting for me. They were not tame, but they recognised me as the one who would feed them, and they had gathered in expectation of my faithfulness to supply food. And I thought of these words:
‘The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.’ This is a heart -cry from God over His people.
I have been so struck recently, watching amazing programmes on wildlife, on the universe, on discoveries, on science, that all of them make no acknowledgement whatsoever of the God behind it all, God who is our Maker, our Creator and LORD of the Universe in which we find ourselves. ‘God’ is a dirty word. God is non-PC. But the result is – pain. Deep pain and wounding. Isaiah saw, ‘No soundness – only wounds and bruises and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil’ (Isaiah 1:5-6). Isn’t his what we see around us in our world today?
Prayer: God, our Maker, Creator, Provider, on behalf of our nations, we acknowledge that we have denied You – often denied Your existence, denied that You are our Maker and denied that You are Almighty God. Father, by Your Holy Spirit, please give us Your heart for the broken people around us and Your heart to pray for our nations and for the unbelief of our peoples. Thank You, God, that Your heart is to heal – to heal us personally and to heal our nations. You long for us to return to You. Amen.
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