A friend of mine recently acquired a really unique bird feeder from her dad. Because it had sentimentality, she rushed to hang it. Since it was August, I questioned the timing of “needing” a bird feeder but I didn’t want to deter her excitement so I stayed silent. She hung it and waited.

On day 3 of what I’ve termed Operation Bird Feeding Failure, she expressed her anger and disappointment at the birds. 

“I went through all the trouble to put the feeder up and no birds! What’s the deal with that?”

Before I could begin my pretty lame explanation of why the birds weren’t flocking in, she continued: “If they don’t come by the end of the week, I’m taking it down. Too bad for the birds!”

“Have you been sitting and watching the bird feeder EVERY MINUTE of every day?” I asked.

We agreed that she should perhaps give them a little more time than just a week. Maybe she just hadn’t seen them. Besides, they are, after all – birds. Ever heard the term “bird brain?” 

For months we talked weekly about the birds and I kept trying to convince her not to take the feeder down just yet. I tried to figure out if I sprinkled birdseed from the trees to the feeder, would they follow it and ultimately find the house? Ironically, just a few days ago, the birds were hovering around the feeder. While I didn’t see any land to eat, they were at least in the vicinity. I tried to point that out to her to offer some hope. I’m not sure she bought it!  

Why is it when we hope for something to occur we have such a hard time waiting?

We want things to happen. We hope for things to happen.

And when they don’t happen in the timeframe we’ve set, we get frustrated and want to give up.

The prophets told the people of Israel that a savior was going to come rescue them from their captivity. The people waited, hoped, waited, and hoped. But while they were waiting, they were also watching! Watching is a key component to hope. 

The rescue for the Israelites came when they least expected it. It came in the form of a tiny baby born in the most unique, extreme circumstances. 

I believe, when the great snow blizzard descends on Iredell County, the birds will find their food offered to them from their new feeder. Maybe, then, my friend will be watching for them as well! 

Waiting can be filled with darkness, depravity, fear, and shame. But if we will watch for it, we will see glimpses and pathways to light, goodness, peace, and freedom while we wait.

Where are there signs of hope that you may be missing because you aren’t watching for them?