The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, February 9, 2024, was written by Jack L. Bodden of Texas.
22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:22-34 NRSV
My wife and I sat in our sunroom and watched a storm rage outside. As we watched the rain pour down and heard the thunder rumble, we noticed a purple martin flying though the wind and rain. She flew up to her nest under the eaves at the corner of our house. We could hear the chirping of her babies as she brought them a tiny insect, and then with a chirp of her own, she took off to find more for them to eat. Time after time she returned and then took off again. The heavy rain and strong wind occasionally blew her off course, but she never stopped. Our admiration for her grew with each trip she made, and we both remarked that there was something inspirational about her behavior.
Long after the storm ended, I kept thinking about what we had witnessed. The mother bird's behavior made me think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us. Like the purple martin, his sacrifice was an act of intense love! The little bird's determined care for her young reminded us that God really does care about and provide for all of creation. God's love will endure and will not be turned aside by the storms of adversity. I pray that the devotion of the little bird will stay alive in my memory and inspire me to show love to others and to trust God to provide for God's children.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
At some point, in our journey of faith, we will all be tested by adversity and hardship. The decisions we make, when facing obstacles and challenges, will either feed our faith or our fears. Jack's reflection offers us the inspiring story of a purple martin mother persevering through a storm to feed her chicks. The story challenges us to examine our own level of determination to feed our souls, despite the proverbial storm's life sends our way. May we all resolve to have the persistence of the purple martin in the reflection, that our relationship with God may flourish.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the sacrifice you made for us so that we may live abundantly. Inspire us to show your love to the world. Amen.