Consider the Ducklings

I am the one in our family that has to shoot down the crazy ideas. Somebody’s got to, it’s crazy enough around here as it is! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said no to more animals. But when we discovered a nest of 10 duck eggs abandoned and under 2 inches of cold water in our flooded backyard… I caved in.

My husband, Ben, dusted off an incubator a neighbor gave us a while back. We plugged it in, popped in the eggs and waited. 

Ben dove into the research. Soon we were all familiar with the necessary humidity, temperature, and turning frequency for eggs. We sat in a dark closet and marveled at the ducklings forming within the eggs revealed by a bright flashlight held on the shell. The more we learned the more we were blown away by the miracle of these little lives!

I didn’t expect to be so excited when the ducklings first peeped from within the their eggs, or when they poked that first hole in the shell. I didn’t realize hatching from an egg was such a struggle. In cartoons they pop right out! But it takes an enormous amount of exertion and time for those tiny little things to unzip the top of the shell and squeeze out. Then suddenly, there’s a tiny victorious bird, resting after a hard won escape!

In no time they were up staggering around and exploring. Waddling over each other in a playful heap waiting for the others to hatch and come play! Soon the damp and scrawny things were fluffy balls of cuteness, happy to see the world.

The crazy thing is, this happens all the time.

I mean, they’re just birds. We probably have dozens of birds in our yard at any given time. Every spring birds lay eggs. They hatch. They eat. They grow up. 

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!”
(Luke 12:24)

Such a familiar passage. God takes care of the birds; God will take care of you, too.  But suddenly we’re experiencing new depth in this assurance! God crafts order in beautiful complexity in each egg. The Creator knits together tiny bones, fluttering hearts, and fluffy feathers. The Lord of Life grants balance and the nuanced conditions necessary for growth and hatching. Each bird emerges knowing how to waddle, how to eat and drink, ready to learn the faces of their parents and born with the instinct to stick together with their siblings like glue. It happens all the time, but it doesn’t make it less of a miracle!

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
(Luke 12:6-7)

If God goes to such lengths for even the ducklings how much more will your Father care for you? 

We’d sit and watch the ducklings, just in awe. My son, Noah, especially loved holding them when they were still tiny. He’d cup them gently in his hands and lift them up to his cheek, quietly saying over and over, “We are so blessed. Just so, so, blessed!” 

“We’re so blessed!”

We’ve never raised ducklings before. At first we scrambled to figure out the ideal home for them as they grew. But it’s been an amazing experience. They have such personality! It’s so much fun to watch them come running to follow us around the yard or out for a swim in the creek!

What a blessing to have this chance to witness God’s beautiful creation up close. It’s overwhelming to consider how little we understand about God’s abundant provision just in our small corner of this vast creation. What we see is just a tiniest glimpse of all God is doing!

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, … For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the work of your hands I sing for joy.”
(Psalm 92: 1-2, 4)

Where do you see God’s provision in your corner of creation? Rejoice in the work of your Creator’s hand! The Lord makes anxious hearts glad.

Ducklings out for a family paddle in Dutch Creek.

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