For the past four years of the California drought it seemed to me that the birds had become less and less vocal. I am guessing this was because they were trying to stay out of the oppressive heat and close to a water source. But it wasn’t until this year, when the rains returned, that I realized they had been missing. And what a wonderful reminder it has been––a virtual symphony.
Okay, so this “symphony” begins a bit early––usually around five or five thirty––but I lie in bed with my eyes closed just listening to the plethora (good vocabulary word!) of bird voices: chirping, twittering, cawing, honking (that would be the geese choosing a low flight path right over my house), hooting, cooing, shrieking, whistling, tweeting, and warbling. Some even make a sound like an actual word. For instance, the California quail’s call sounds like the word “Chi-ca-go,” and I remember a bird in Zimbabwe had a call that sounded like “go away.” I'm sure that was meant kindly.
I didn’t realize until I heard the birds this year, how much I had missed their songs, for indeed, their individual and unique voices are indeed musical.
I think we are often a bit like the birds. When we feel the heat of oppression or pain or we are going through an emotional drought or desert in our life, we will often pull back and shelter and seclude ourselves as we search for some restoration. Our singing often ceases when we go into protective mode.
But I bet God misses our uniquely individual voices raised in song as much as we miss the birds. And we need to keep in mind the promise of God that “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5). Then we, like David, can say . . .
Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him. (Ps. 28:6-7)
The rains will come. The drought will end. The heat will be abated. And our singing will return.