Little bird reflects on how the Lord helps
it to grow by allowing trials to stretch
it beyond its current level of existence.
It rests with confidence in God's willingness
to help it through these trials: "No
trial has come to you but what is human.
God is faithful and will not let you be tried
beyond your strength; but with the trial
he will also provide a way out, so that you
may be able to bear it." 1
Pushed from the nest when still too young,
With flight feathers not fully found:
Flailing, fumbling, tailspin tumbling,
Accelerating to the ground.
The Spirit dives and swoops asunder,
Bearing it up on powerful wings!
Flightless dove now fears no longer;
Trusting in Spirit's strength, it sings:
"He bears me up whene'er I fall.
He teaches me not to fear death.
His mighty wings o'ershadow me,
Sheltering me from breath to breath."
Flight is only reached through trial;
Falls and failings mark each mile.
Little Bird realizes that these trials are
necessary for its growth: "Not only
that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character, and proven
character, hope, and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out
into our hearts through the holy Spirit that
has been given to us." 2
It is aware that these trials are necessary
to help him overcome his weaknesses: "Endure
your trials as "discipline"; God
treats you as sons. For what "son"
is there whom his father does not discipline?"3
"In this you rejoice, although now for
a little while you may have to suffer through
various trials, so that the genuineness of
your faith, more precious than gold that
is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ."4
It rejoices in knowing that "through
many tribulations we must enter the kingdom
of God."51 . "Consider it all joy,
my brothers, when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith
produces perseverance. And let perseverance
be perfect, so that you may be perfect and
complete, lacking in nothing."5
(c) Paul Buis, 2000
1. 1 Corinthians 10: 13
2. Romans 5: 3-5
3. Hebrews 12: 7
4. 1 Peter 1: 6-7
5. Acts 14:22
6. James 1:2-4