This morning I was treated to the sight of one of these beauties (Goldfinch, pictured above) in our garden. I am fascinated by how much colour and beauty there is in something so small! Whenever I see one it seems to light up the area around it and it reminds me of the amazing care and creativity God puts into His Creation.
This morning’s visitor was busily pecking away at some stuffing that had been very carefully (!!) removed from its correct place in a toy by our dog, and then left out on the grass. Mr Finch was obviously colelcting stuff for his nest and I was struck once again by the contrast between something God-made and something man-made. No matter how hard we try, and how creative we can be, we humans will never create anything as stunningly beautiful as God can – from the smallest seed to the biggest planet, God’s attention to detail and His originality in design never get old.
Last week we were thinking about “Practicing the Presence of God”, and on Sunday we thought about the fact that nothing is too small to offer to God if it is given with a humble, happy heart. Garden visitors like Mr Finch remind me that God is here, and that He is with me – and of course they point me to those famous words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, verses 25-27: “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
How amazing God is to use a small garden bird to remind us of such great things! But that’s not all – as I watched the Goldfinch busily collecting the stuffing I was also reminded that in God’s economy nothing goes to waste – indeed even things that we think are rubbish (including ourselves if we are honest) can be a real blessing to others. What we think is failure may be just what someone else needs to see; what we see as waste may be just what someone else needs to receive – there is no rubbish in God’s Kingdom.
And one final thought – out of all His Creation, the towering mountains, the surging seas, the deserts, the ice packs, the hills, valleys, rivers and streams; the stars and the planets, there is one thing that He is most delighted with – you. You. And yes, you did read that right, and no, I haven’t made a mistake. Genesis 1 describes God creating, and seeing “that it was good.” Then God makes human beings on the last day of Creation – “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Until He created us, it was only good. After us, very good.
So when you next see a Goldfinch, or a Red Kite, or any other bird to be honest, and admire its beauty, stop and give thanks to God for it – and then remember that He sees you as the most important part of His Creation. It’s there at the start of the Bible. It’s there in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. And it’s there in Revelation, at the end, when God comes to make His home with mankind with a new heaven and a new earth. Knowing that is worth far more than pure gold…
God bless, stay well