Here in our yard outside of Budapest, Hungary, we have these really sweet little birds called verebeks. Like chirpy little sparrows. They flit about from tree to tree, working hard to gather twigs and yard-fluff to make intricate nests. They lay beautiful, speckled-blue eggs, singing away while they work. After all their relentless industry, they hunker down into the comfortable spaces they’ve created and wait. They have followed the plan: find a mate, make a nest, make baby birds.
We also have some other birds here called szarkas. Magpies. Big, black and white with bits of blue on their wings. They have wicked tails, sharp beaks … and they are very predatory. They ruthlessly attack small songbirds, like the sparrows. They scavenge the eggs, kill the young, and scatter the nests. Would it surprise you to learn they are part of a family of birds called corvids?
COVID-19 has been a predator, taking not just life and certainty—as we’ve already explored in previous All Our Sorrows reflections—but also financial stability. Many around the globe are facing a loss of provision. Just as the corvid magpie tears apart the sparrow’s nest, the Coronavirus is deconstructing reliable income, job security, retirement funds, and other carefully crafted financial plans. Recent college graduates have no idea when they will find jobs, and older retirees wonder if their 401Ks are going to hold out. And the unemployment rate has skyrocketed.
Does the bird imagery sound familiar? We certainly have promises in the Gospels (Matthew 6:26; Luke 12:7, 24) that we are of more value to God than the birds of the air, who are fed by Him without their doing anything to earn it. But, in Psalm 91, we also see the protection of the Lord as He delivers us from the snare of the fowlers and deadly pestilence. He covers us with His wings. He shelters us and becomes our dwelling place.
ACTION: Read Psalm 91. Write down the words you notice that reflect the provision and protection of God. Is there a particular image that comes to life for you as you read the Psalm? Shelter, refuge, shield, or another? Perhaps, you might like to draw a picture or create a collage of the image. What is His invitation to you today? How will you respond?