“The baby owl has fallen out of his nest. You should come quickly.” This was the message I got on my phone.
The two owls in our garden have fascinated me. On the far outskirts of the city, at the foot of the Helderberg mountains, is our mission home. She is surrounded by nature and at her core is the tall oak tree. Two owls have made this their home and I feel privileged to share the space with them. When mama owl started brooding in the box placed high in the branches, I wondered how long before we saw her young. As it turned out, too soon. At the base of the tree lay this frightened ball of fluff. A bird of prey in the making.
Will this spotted eagle owlet survive at the Owl Sanctuary he was rushed to? Will he grow to his potential? Only time will tell. I tend to see metaphors in most things so this little owl got me thinking.
What happens in our life when things fall out of the nest?
Sometimes in nature, the weakest is abandoned so that the strong will survive. We all have areas where our bones are weak and where we have not formed well. There are as many reasons for these ill-formed insides as there are people on this planet. Yet, despite our imperfection, we can rejoice. In abandoning our weakness, His strength survives in us. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Sometimes the strongest take to flight too early. Those strong parts we have could cause us to wiggle right out of the nest – prematurely. I have certainly had times in my life when confidence in my ability or in my opinion has made me act too quickly. Times when I should have waited, when I should have held my tongue, when I should have let the thing mature a little longer. These times I have found myself at the base of a tall tree, struggling to survive. Yet, I still have an ever present savior. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10
Sometimes life just messes with you. You work diligently, you pay your dues, you turn up when you should, you give and give again and give some more. Then, wham! You hit the ground hard and lay there breathless wondering what you did wrong. Self reflection and checking back on your steps can be helpful. Learning is part of living. Maybe there was a misstep. If possible, fix it. Maybe there was nothing you could have done differently and as you lay hurting on the ground, there is nothing you can do but breathe. Then just breathe. Simply live. “… when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then …” Ephesians 6: 13-14
Life is a gift. Every single day is a gift – even the hard days when we find ourselves out in the cold on a hard floor – even these are a gift. These kinds of days are painful and scary and lonely. On these days we’d all much rather be up in the nest with mama.
Yet, of one thing I am absolutely certain … on these days, these hard and awful days – we are always in the loving hands of our Father.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 38-39