31st August 2015
I was in conversation recently with a knowledgeable chap who had seen an interesting programme on television about birds and was bursting with interesting facts to tell me of this amazing bird called a swift. He then passed on some interesting facts about them which I want to share with you today. Swifts are amazing birds, and here are some reasons why! We shall think about them and then learn some valuable truths from their habits.
1. After leaving the nest where they hatched, they’ll keep flying non-stop for three years! Isn’t that amazing?
2, They even eat, mate (at high speed in what are known as screaming parties) and they even sleep in the air while flying! they can actually ‘snooze’ with one side of their brain resting while the other is working, and then switch to the other side. Isn’t God’s creation incredible?
3. Also some of ‘our’ swifts migrate from Great Britain as far as South Africa for winter. How fantastically strong they are though small. In addition they are the fastest bird at level flight. (up to 70mph). Sometimes they are mistaken for a swallow. Their shape is similar
4. The parent birds gather insect snacks for their chicks, carrying as many as 1,000 at one gulp! How dependant the chicks are upon their parents to care for them.
5. Swifts also choose to live in our houses and churches – they squeeze through tiny gaps to nest inside roofs. God has indeed provided for all his creatures.
I was astounded as I was being told of the incredible abilities of some of these smallest and the youngest of these creatures who fly with amazing strength and skill, do incredible things while flying with accuracy to distant parts and have utmost confidence in their parents to supply all their needs.
In case you didn’t take it all in the first time let me repeat these amazing truths. Swifts neither touch the ground or tree or building for the first three years of their lives!. They keep flying eating, mating at high speed and even sleep in the air.
Summing up they can feed from their parents who gather insect snacks for their young carrying as many as 1,000 at one gulp. The young have absolute confidence in their regular meals being supplied to them. Neither do they worry about their living accommodation as to where they live or the size of their home. They slip between very narrow gaps contentedly.
What an example for us who believe in God and want to be active with and for God. Always we want to move forward making every moment count for God with the abilities He has given to us and not giving time to consider where our next meal is coming from, where we shall live or stay overnight etc.
In our Bibles we find Jesus certainly is the best example of this kind of life.(Matthew 8:20;) “The foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” “I must do the works of Him who sent me, while it is day said Jesus, the night comes when no one can work” Jesus never wasted a moment.
God has promised to meet all our needs as we ‘fly’ with Him and ‘seek’ to do his will. One day when Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman which was surprising enough to his disciples for Jews had no dealings with Samaritans, they said “you must be hungry” he replied that his food was to do the will of the Father who had sent Him and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:32) He went on to say he had food the disciples knew nothing about.
As we look at these examples of God’s extraordinary creation we are reminded that God is looking for a faithful people who will be diligent in service for Him. God’s people should aim to be single minded in their lives putting God first in all things and desiring His will above their own in every instance. Following in His footsteps.
Jesus followed that maxim every day. He had no home to call his own but spoke of swallows, swifts and other birds having their nests but he had nowhere to lay his head. And although he never ‘flew’ he certainly was always on the move. He was up extremely early each day to pray for the needs of the day before going early in the morning to the temple to meet and talk with people and it wasn’t to discuss the weather! He spoke of heavenly food he lived on when talking to his disciples when they were concerned about him missing a meal.
Like the swift getting through many miles in travel he must have covered a lot of ground in three years accomplishing enough to fill a library of books with his activities and the many transformed lives through his ministry. (Read John 21) The way we live our life is important but……Remember that Jesus has first to become our Saviour and only then our example.
It is with wonder we look at your marvellous universe full of wonderful and so varied creation. From the splendour of mountain grandeur to grassy plains that can stretch for miles and miles to the small and larger animal kingdom as well as beautiful birds that fly across your majestic skies sometimes to be seen by the naked eye full of planets stars and moons.
You are an amazing God and we do glory in your name and your mighty power and wisdom and your own incredible design of earth and sky.
We praise and delight ourselves in your goodness to us and especially for Jesus our Saviour Lord and Friend. Thank you Lord for the privilege of living in your world and for all its benefits. We love and adore You! Amen.