You're not made for the nest
By Teresa LeNeave
A bird's nest sits perched tightly between two branches of a wobbly little tree in my back yard. Hummers fly everywhere acting like they own the place and I guess they do because my first job in the morning and last in the evening is making sure their feeders are cleaned and refilled with fresh sugar water. More than once my husband, (joking I hope), said he wishes he was a hummingbird because I take such good care of them. But, the hummers are another story. This story is about the birds in the nest.
Momma bird sat on tiny eggs for several days and then one day I noticed she was flying off quite often and returning with food for her little babies. She fed them for several days, but I knew it wouldn't last. I knew one day she would push them out of the nest ... because they were not made for the nest.
As much care as she took to feed them, you would think she'd want them under her wing for longer, but no, that's not what happened. Momma bird pushed them closer and closer to the edge of the nest until one day it was either fly or fall.
I thought of faith. Faith is so much like that little bird family. As a newborn Christian we don't usually get big faith wings immediately, and if we do, naysaying Christians or non-Christians will be sure to clip our wings to keep us grounded. Just like the baby birds, we learn to fly day by day. We know faith is developed day by day. Trial by trial. God is mindful of every prayer we pray, but if we fail to grow spiritually does he nudge us closer and closer to the edge until we learn to fly? He does, because we are not made for the nest no more than those little baby birds are made for the nest.
We like the nest. The nest is our comfort zone. Momma and Poppa bird feeds the babies as long as they are in the nest, but once they are pushed out they have to learn some survival tactics. Learning to survive is dangerous. We don't want to be pushed out of the nest, but that's our only choice if we are ever to fly. We will get a few nicks and scrapes as our faith wings develop, but eventually we will learn to fly because we are not made for the nest.
The baby birds can't fulfill their purpose if they stay in the nest. They would never fly. They would never procreate. They would never be part of the ecosystem which keeps life on earth flowing smoothly. In the very same way, we can't fulfill our purpose if we stay in the comfort of our nest.
Many things can be a "nest" for Christians.
CHURCH CAN BECOME A NEST. That's where we are comfortable. A few songs, a sermon and a few friends on a weekly basis can be a comfortable place to be. If God prompts us to do something out of the ordinary, are we quick to respond or will he have to push us out of the nest?
PRAYER CAN BECOME A NEST. We can, by sheer habit, pray every morning without realizing or taking into account, the scope of who we are talking to. God has given us a personal invitation to have a friend-to-friend relationship with the One who created everything in this universe, but we can take that privilege for granted. Unlike any conversation you have today, the conversation you have with God has the power to transform the world. Did you think about that possibility when you prayed today? Or, was your prayer time just casual conversation with a casual God?
When prayer has become a "nest", we don't even think about WHO we are praying to. We take for granted that he's listening and we're talking ... So that must be prayer. We rattle off our requests like he's Momma bird and he's bound by nature to feed us those tasty worms.
That's not always the case. One day he will quit spoon feeding us. He will want us to get out of the nest and mature spiritually. We are not made for the nest. Faith is activated when you think about who you're talking to. You're talking to the One who knows everything, about everything. In prayer, you're talking to the One who knows every thought; every pain; every success; and every failure that every person on earth has ever had or ever will have. The God we serve is incredible! He is so knowledgeable that he spoke into existence the universe and all we know on earth. At the same time, he is so intimate that he cares about everything you do.
He wants you to get out of your comfortable nests, no matter what they are. You were not made for the nest. If you could fly, what would you do? Where would you go? What would make you different from all the rest? You have amazing potential. You were not made for the nest.