“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10
An owl has a nest in our neighbor’s yard. I hear the hoots in the morning and early evening, soft and a little sad, and very beautiful. We have lots of other birds around us, too – sparrows and robins, bluejays and even cardinals. And there’s been a family of hawks settled into the park behind us. From early Spring until November, our feathered friends are up and singing each morning just before sunrise.
I am always amazed at the variety of melodies and rhythms that make up this outdoor symphony. Sometimes I can track a specific tune to a specific bird. And sometimes I can single out one song from the others to follow. But usually I don’t work that hard, and just take in the whole glorious bunch as it is.
It may sound funny, but I find a lot of comfort in birdsong. Some nights, when I’ve struggled to sleep, the first few notes are like a promise – a new day is starting. They are part of my daily routine, and those months without them feel incomplete. Hearing birds sing in the morning settles my spirit – it is a sweet way to start my day. It leads me to look out my window where I notice the trees. And from there I am led to look up, both to see the sky, and to lift up a quick prayer of thanks.
I guess I like the birds and their songs so much because they remind me of God’s presence. After all, it was by His creative Hand that they exist. And such a splendid variety! That truth can be applied to all things in nature, can’t it? Trees, insects, flowers, animals – different species and flora, every one designed and brought to life by the same God who made us.
Nature has a constancy to it that reassures me as well. The tree that has stood guard in our front lawn for decades, the annuals that come up every year in my little garden, and the squirrels that race around each summer point to God’s steadfastness. As life around me seems more uncertain, I look to these things, and ultimately to their Creator, to find my peace.