Tag Archives: provision

The Birds and the Bees

Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81 :10b NIV)

This is the verse that spoke to me today. Then I saw a black collared barbet eating from a half orange on the birdfeeder. He was taking big bites, seeming to enjoy himself. I looked down and saw a thrush. I haven’t seen any around for a couple of months. He was pecking in recently watered soil looking for insects.

Black collared barbet eating apple earlier this year when apples were in season.

It occurred to me that God was feeding them both. He was filling their mouths with what they each individually needed. I thought of what I need today – stamina, wisdom, peace. God does not provide the same spiritual nourishment to all His children like a chicken farmer feeding chickens. He knows our individual needs and provides accordingly. Our job is to merely open our mouths wide and allow Him to fill us. Quite often our needs overlap. I am sure many others besides me need peace. His promise is to all of us.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)

Likewise, oranges sustain other creatures beside barbets. Bees buzz constantly around the bird feeder, taking tiny sips of the juice. When we were at the game reserve recently, we saw piles of oranges which had been put out for the wild animals. The monkeys helped themselves from the trees.

My Prayer

My Father, You know exactly what I need today. Please breathe Your Spirit on me and fill my mouth as You have promised with Your gifts, physical, spiritual, emotional and relational. I open my mouth wide. Amen.


On Friday we made the ten hour journey back home. We had an uneventful but enjoyable journey, enlivened by two pit stops. At the second one, just beyond Harrismith, we sat under a thatch-roofed picnic area and ate our egg mayonnaise sandwiches and drank our Pepsi Max. Nearby a man was selling walking sticks with a knob at one end like a knopkierie. I was thinking about buying one but wasn’t sure what they cost, so didn’t want to show too much interest. I had drawn R200 for the journey and had already spent some of it.

A man in his fifties walked past with one of the walking sticks. I asked him what it had cost.

“R150,” he replied, “as the Bible says, one good deed a day keeps the devil away.”

I queried whether that was really in the Bible, because I had never come accross it.

“It’s in my bible,” he said, “That’s what I taught my kids.”

Those words inspired me and made up my vacillating mind. It was now not so much about acquiring a walking stick, but helping support a craftsman who was providing for his family.

When we went closer to look at the sticks, we found out the man’s name was Steven. He made the sticks from teak railway sleepers, using only hand tools. Each one was beautifully crafted and decorated with different patterns. I bought one and my husband gave Steven the last of our little booklets of John’s Gospel that we had been given.

Whenever I use my walking stick, I will remember how a stranger’s words had acted as God’s guidance and how I was blessed to meet an interesting fellow South African.


Dear Lord, today may I be attentive to people, situations and interruptions so that my ears are open to Your voice and I may see You more clearly in everyday life. Amen.


When you stay thirty metres from the beach, the sound of the sea is ever-present. The sea never rests. The waves continue their thunderous roar endlessly. Of course, it is possible to wear ear plugs and blot out the sound of the sea, or go into a sound-proof room, or play music loud enough to drown it. Just because one doesn’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I love the sound of the sea. At night I hear it before I drop off to sleep. It is one of the things I will profoundly miss when we go back to Gauteng tomorrow. However, just because I go away from the sea, it does not stop. Its motion is never-ending, whether I see it or hear it or not.

Over the last two weeks the fishing population has peaked and ebbed. The fishermen continued to cast their lines into the sea. Every day they could take home a catch to feed their families or perhaps even to sell. The next day, the sea would give up more fish – a seemingly limitless supply.

It reminds me of God’s love. Lamentations 3:22 reads, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;” (ESV)

Whether I can see it, or not, whether I believe it or not, God’s love is around me all the time. His gifts, His provision, His blessings never come to an end.