Outside my living room window stands an oak tree which dwarfs our two story home. Yet as tall as the tree is, a blue jay chose the lowest branch to build her nest. One spring morning, her baby bird could be seen and heard instinctively calling for its morning meal. I watched and waited to catch a glimpse of mother blue jay. The entire time, baby blue jay never relented in its caterwauling, making sure mother was very aware of how hungry it was. After several minutes, mother blue jay flew into view, and as soon as baby saw her, its mouth opened as wide as possible in eager anticipation of being filled. It was instinctive for the baby bird to expect its mother to provide, and to provide well.
The night before the start of a new school year was always a mixed bag of anxiety and excitement for my baby birds. Like all other children, they were anxious to know if their teacher would like them or if they would get the teacher they wanted. They were excited about seeing their friends again, using their new stash of school supplies, all properly marked with their name, and they couldn’t wait to find out who they would be sitting next to in class. Anxious butterflies were gently swished away as we tucked each child in with a prayer of eager anticipation for what the new school day would bring.
This school year was no different for my last child still at home. She had received her schedule online and what started as excitement soon turned to disappointment and stress. She had spent countless hours all summer preparing for an AP class which had required an audition for acceptance. It was the first class she looked for in her schedule, and it was the first class she realized she did not have. Another class had been put in its place, and unfortunately it was an option she had not even listed in her top choices.
Immediately, the look on her face told me there was a problem. The look was soon followed by, “Why does this always happen to me!” Being all too familiar with the female emotions, I knew I needed to give her some time to vent. In the meantime, I tried to call the school, but they were already closed. It was Friday afternoon, and school started on Monday. There would be no time to make any corrections. Each positive solution offered was negated with a dooms day scenario. My daughter is not a theater major, but on this day, she was definitely in the running for lead drama queen. The only thing I could do was assure her that everything would be fine. If nothing else, there was always the possibility of a visit to the school from mother bird.
Unable to erase her anxious thoughts, I simply kept repeating to her, “Let’s just believe the best and see what happens. God’s got this one.” As Pollyanna as this may have sounded to her, my years of child rearing had produced wisdom along the way, and I had witnessed God filling the mouths of my children in even greater ways which went far beyond a correct class schedule. So, like all previous years, the anxious butterflies were gently swished away, and we offered a prayer of eager anticipation for the day to come. Above all else, I wanted my daughter to be reminded that God has His best for her, that He was already going before her to work out the situation, and all she had to do was look to Him in anticipation. In the end, her schedule, unlike all other student’s who had to wait two weeks for any changes, was straightened out within a few hours, and it did not even require a visit or phone call from mother bird. Once again, her Heavenly Father had shown her how important she was to Him and how He was ready to provide for her every need.
This lesson for my daughter has not escaped me in my own life. It is easy for me to be caught up in the problem, feel stress and self pity and neglect ever anticipating how God will work it all out. Have you ever found yourself there? Remaining in the bondage of anxiety over our difficult situations does us no good. God has a better plan for us; a plan of hope and eager expectation. Like the mother blue jay, God is already moving and working on our behalf to clear a path and make way for us, his children. He is already planning how to provide the best for us. We can’t see the path or even predict it, but what we can do is live and act with great expectations. We can open our mouth wide and wait for God to fill it with His perfect gift chosen especially for each and every one of us. Day by day, we can instinctively expect our Father to provide, and to provide well.
So, regardless of whatever situation you find yourself in today, and regardless of whether you can see the outcome, gently swish away the anxious butterflies and offer up a prayer of eager anticipation to your Father who is already planning, gathering and preparing to fill you. You just have to open your mouth as wide as you can, and receive!