The fence in my backyard is a kaleidoscope of color and buzzing with activity. There is new life in my garden…rabbits, with fluffy bunnies, squirrels and their scurrying offspring, raccoons, crows, coyotes, deer …and none is more captivating and entertaining than the assembly of fluttering birds…hummingbirds stopping on their long trek north, tiny yellow finches, chirping red robins, nesting swallows… all come in droves to eat from the sumptuous feeders that my tiny backyard provides.
While living in the jungle we expected to be awakened by the town rooster or by a flock of colorful parrots squawking loudly in the surrounding Quipo trees. Birds have habits that make them good studies for life lessons. We live in a community that anticipates the arrival of a small bird that returns every year on or around March 19th and that little creature never fails to migrate within 48 hours of this appointed time!
The Cliff Swallow and its most notable characteristic is mentioned in Scripture four times. “The swallows observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.” Jeremiah 8:7 The distinguished characteristic of the swallow is its predictable return every year in the same month to San Juan Capistrano. We have a nest outside our bedroom window and this tiny bird returns every year and entertains our Ragdoll kitty for weeks!
Just as there are fixed times for the arrival of the swallow, there are fixed times for God’s judgment.
Do you find your walk is wrapped in His presence
or is your “up and down” spiritual life inviting God’s correction?
“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young…a place near your altar.” Psalm 84:3
Is your home a place that makes room for Him in your pursuits of life?
Is your life drawing those around you closer to His presence?
The prophet Isaiah, in his many warnings to the “easily forgetful Israelites” (not unlike us!) notes Hezekiah’s anguished cries and the persistent chatter of this little bird in Isaiah 38:14 “Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove…” I, somehow, take comfort in this petite, yet tenacious little bird as I step near my bedroom window and appreciate her gentle and non-intrusive echoes. It resonates protective, yet nurturing. The sound is quiet…like the wooing of the Holy Spirit.
Can you hear the Spirits voice when He speaks to you?
Elijah did when he heard the “gentle whisper” on the mountain in I Kings 19:12.
I love the reference to the swallow in Psalm 26:2. “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.” An undeserved curse is as unpredictable as the flight of the swallow and returns to the one who spoke it without affecting the one who is cursed. The swallows’ flight pattern may be unpredictable but their destination and arrival time can be precisely set!
Is your speech predictable? Do you speak truth with kindness?
What does your husband and your children hear?
The arrival of our Savior was predicted, appointed and His mission was undeniable. In life there are few certainties, but many variables. However, settling the course of our eternal future is a given…it’s predictable…we will die. As predictable as the return of the tiny swallow, death is inevitable!
What we do with Jesus Christ will determine our eternity!
Does His humility draw you to Himself and His way of life (Philippians 2: 1-5)
or…are you still on the fence?
~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.