The nest was taking shape nicely and the progress was impressive. I watched the mama robin hard at work building a safe place to lay her eggs and raise her babies. The daddy robin brought her materials and she placed them on the flat surface of the open feeder outside my kitchen window.
I have never watched a bird build a nest before and the process has been both hilarious and heartbreaking. The mama robin arrives at the nest with a beak full of dried grass and twigs. She carefully lays them in place and then she sits on them. She scoots her little birdie butt back and forth almost like she’s doin’ the twist! Once she’s satisfied, she stands up, does a quarter turn, sits back down, and shakes her booty again. She repeats this process until she’s made a full circle before flying off to collect more materials.
The first time I watched this process I laughed so hard! But the next morning I was heartbroken to see the nest she was working so hard to build lying on the ground in a messy pile of destruction. All that hard work, and strong winds soon blew everything away.
Not too long later, I saw the mama robin building her nest again while the daddy robin helped collect fresh materials. They are a persistent pair and a little wind wasn’t going to stop them from what they needed to do!
I cheered them on and watched their nest grow until one morning I woke up to see it on the ground by the feeder. It still held most of its shape, but what were they going to do now? I wish I knew the full answer to that question. When I got back home one day the nest was no longer on the ground, but back up on the platform of the feeder.
How did it get there? It was too big for one little bird to pick up by itself. Did they pick it up together, working as a team to put it back in place? I don’t know, but they finished that beautiful nest and the mama robin is faithfully sitting in it, with the daddy robin keeping guard from a nearby branch.
Their persistence paid off, but they didn’t just quit working when they accomplished their goal. They are vigilant. The mama robin sits in her nest, but her eyes are ever watching for danger. This morning the nest was attacked by a blue jay. I saw him sweeping in, but before he could arrive, the daddy robin flew in and intercepted him. Mama robin joined the fight and they chased him off.
The persistence and tenacity of these robins remind me of the persistent widow we read about in Luke 18:1-8.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Oh, friends, I’ve been right there with you! I’m pretty sure Jesus has been too; He was fully human. He knows! Why else would He tell His disciples this story “to show that they should always pray and never give up”?
Let’s take a lesson from the persistently tenacious widow and robins. Let’s keep praying. Let’s look to the Lord for His answers and His will in His timing - not our own. Let’s trust that He knows what we need and that in His love for us He will provide.
And while we wait, let’s keep fighting. Maybe, like the robin, it’s starting over with a new dream God gives us or a new medication to try. Maybe it’s picking up the pieces and watching God patch them back together. Or maybe our job is to simply sit and pray, crying out to the Lord like the persistent widow.
You’re not alone. As brothers and sisters in Christ it is our responsibility to fight with and for each other, just like my little robin friends. Share your prayer requests below so we can pray for and encourage one another.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” ~Luke 5:16