Earlier this spring a hummingbird built a nest in a bush just 14 inches from my sister’s dining room window. She laid one egg and guarded it carefully. Thanks to cell phone camera technology, my sister was able to get some amazing photos.
After the egg hatched, she made a video of the mother bird feeding the baby. Ensuing photos and videos documented the baby’s growth. Mama was kept busy all day catching insects and drinking nectar, then depositing them in the hungry baby’s mouth. Eventually the baby grew so big that there was no room in the nest for Mama. If you don’t see the video here, click on the title above.
But the show really got interesting when it was time for Baby to learn to fly. Of all the videos, my favorite is the one where Mama was first teaching Baby how to flap his wings. First she flew in front of him as if to say, “Look now! Flap flap! See?” Baby watched with fascination. Then Mama flew around him, flapping energetically as if saying, “You can do this too! See? Flap flap.”
Baby emerged from the nest a bit, but still didn’t flap until Mama gently tapped the top of his wing. “Come on, you can do it!” And then, very tentatively at first, he began to move his wings. Each day the wings grew stronger, and the length of flapping time increased, until the day came when baby flew away, leaving the nest behind.
I especially enjoyed this particular video because it made me think of how God encourages us when he leads us into something new. First he shows us the possibility. “Look, flap flap. Watch me.”
Our hearts are stirred. “Wow!” we say. “That is really amazing.” Then comes the tap on the shoulder. “Come on, time for you to try it.” At first we may only be able to manage a few weak flaps, but as we continue, our wings grow stronger until the day we’re ready to leave our comfort zone and move into what God has for us.
Philippians 2:13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Whether it is a new venture, or just a new way of thinking about some area in our lives, the process is the same as when the mama bird taught her baby to fly. God shows us the possibilities, and we may find them fascinating. But we won’t get far sitting in our nest waiting to be nurtured. We must respond to His gentle tap on our shoulder and begin exercising our faith muscles. Before long, we will be on our way, doing what God wants us to do.