Unwittingly Protecting What Isn’t Ours to Protect

Fall is here. Which means that temperatures in southern California dip just a bit and fall into the 50s and 60s and night instead of the 70s and 80s (you’ll take what you can get). It also means that as the days begin to grow shorter, there is less out there for the birds to eat. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon looking out our kitchen window onto our front yard, where we’ve recently hung a hummingbird feeder. Already attracted to our yard because of our purple Mexican sage, the feeder has become quite the place of interest for these birds over the past week or two.

It seems that we already have one fierce hummingbird who has staked his claim on the feeder, sitting on a nearby salvia plant to fight off any approaching bird that wants to use the feeder themselves. Throughout the day, these little guys will chase each other, all in the name of defending their turf from each other.

All the meanwhile, these little birdbrains have no clue that there is a kitchen close to them with the ability to make more hummingbird nectar when the time comes for needing more. In watching these fierce wingèd birds battle the skies for their own provisions, I’m reminded of myself—how often do I unwittingly protect what I believe is my own turf when it is really the Lord’s? When it is really the Lord’s that He’s given to me to steward for the time that He’s given it to me? Each of us, for a variety of reasons—past hardships, fears of the future, etc.—have this innate need to protect ourselves oftentimes from things that we don’t fully understand. Jesus calls us to a better way of living; He says:

“Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself” (Luke 12:27-32, The Message).

Consider for a moment how this applies to your own life—where are you worried with the events of the day, like my little hummingbird friends? What events in your day might be a call from the Lord to rely more heavily on Him? Throughout this fall season, let’s live today remembering that God the Father finds pleasure in giving us all that His Kingdom offers, which is far beyond hummingbird food.

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