Keep God In The Nest
The singing wrens now screeched like hoot owls in protest as Katie, my son’s striped tiger cat, positioned on the porch banister, gazed at the branch above. The commotion continued until I scooted the feline back home.
For days, the wrens had gathered the materials for the nest, which they had constructed in the tree beside the porch. Twigs, weeds, feathers, and pieces of shredded paper created the compost home. Now, their suspicious chirping subsided, and I was amused by the latest addition to their nest. They had pilfered my trash, and retrieved the discarded plastic carrier for a six-pack of soda cans; the wrens were busily rearranging their housekeeping materials.
Several days later the nest was completed, and the contented couple settled into their new home. We continued to keep an eye on things. Finally, one day when mother wren had gone for her physical fitness flight, we noticed the eggs, four of them. After this, the wrens were quiet. We seldom saw the mother now, for she huddled low in the nest, waiting for the eggs to hatch. Eventually, we were greeted by the soft chirping of the baby wrens. The searching bills from four tiny heads stretched upward, as the mother wren made her frequent trips to the garden for their meals.
Keeping Katie from her inquisitive quest was a task. Whenever she appeared on the scene, the mother wren flurried to the nest, and hovered over her young as she screeched and scolded in earnest. When Katie moved towards the tree, the mother wren whooped from the nest, and fluttered her wings as she circled Katie’s head.
One day, my son managed to take a photo of the bird-filled nest, and just in time. The next day the nest was empty. The parent wrens had apparently decided the days for nurturing and protecting their offspring were over. Now, the empty nest beside the porch seemed strangely silent.
I can identify with my wren friends. It has taken years to put into my nest the necessary ingredients. Unimagined risks, dangers, and stresses were as imminent as the dreaded cat. Added to these threats, I sometimes had to evaluate my convictions in the light of God’s Word. When my nest emptied, yet another generation eventually emerged.
Now, I watch with gray-haired wisdom as my children, in their respective painful process of parental nest building, either proves or disproves the values that I’ve strived to instill. Their homes, invaded by the destructive forces of the turnabout of moral values, are in jeopardy. Waiting on the banister just outside the nest, is the cataclysmic confusion of spiritual compromise.
Will my grandchildren cash in on my investment, and remember that the secret of dealing with the dangers of compromise is keeping God in the nest, making Him the center of the home?
Perhaps the severest test approaches a family’s nest when it empties. We can learn from our feathered nest-builders that the empty nest need not mean emptiness in our lives, but rather a time for reaching out. When our protective role is ended, and our children leave the nest to build their own. God intends for us to take a spiritual flight to the next phase of His plan. There is no such thing as emptiness when God is in the nest.