What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will

Snugly tucked away in the Old Testament book of Proverbs is one of the Bible’s most beautiful verses on the subject of God’s will. Proverbs 27:8 says:

Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place. (N.K.J.V.)

Tell me, are you right now in your place? Are you living where God wants you to be living? Are you working where He wants you to be working? Are you going to church where He wants you to be going to church? Are you engaged in those activities in which He wants you to be engaged?

A nest is the best place in all the world for a bird to be. It is nothing less than home. A bird in its nest is safe because predators can’t harm it there. A bird in its nest is at rest because no bird can fly incessantly. A bird in its nest is perfectly natural because a bird standing in the middle of an interstate just seems wrong.

Of course the primary reason why a bird builds a nest is to raise a family. The mother bird lays her eggs. She incubates those eggs. When the eggs hatch, she feeds the baby birds. When they are ready she pushes them out of the nest so they can fly on their own and ultimately build their own nests.

By the way, this shows us that there is nothing wrong with a person moving away from the “nest” in which he or she was raised. Remember that it was God Himself who told Abraham to leave his hometown of Ur and move to a land that He would show him (Genesis 12:1). For that matter, most species of birds build new nests each year. So, obviously, Proverbs 27:8 isn’t the Bible’s way of forbidding us from ever leaving home or embarking on some new adventure in life.

Instead, the teaching is simply that each individual should strive to live every day in the center of God’s will for his or her life. If His will means staying in the same spot where you’ve been for the last ten years, so be it. If it means making a change and building some type of new nest, that’s okay too. The key is to always be at your post in life, the post where God has you stationed for the time being.

We get ourselves into trouble anytime we prematurely wander away from a nest where God wants us to remain. And most of us have faced this temptation, haven’t we? “I’m tired of this job; I’m going to quit.” “This town is driving me crazy; I need to try someplace new.” “I’ve been playing this role long enough; it’s time for somebody else to do it.” “This marriage isn’t working; surely there is someone else out there with whom I can be happier.” Watch out, little bird, are you sure that leaving that nest is really God’s will?

Perhaps today you are contemplating making a major change in your life. If you are, please know that I didn’t write this post to scare you out of going through with what you are planning. Like I said, there are definitely times when God’s will calls for us to change nests. Even a casual study of the Bible will offer evidence of that. But I am trying to warn you about the dangers of wandering away from a place where God wants you to remain (at least for a little while longer). A bird in its nest is safe and at peace. A bird that has foolishly abandoned its nest isn’t. That’s why we should always make sure that we are moving at God’s bidding and not our own. Keep this in mind as you consider whether or not to leave your current nest, and ask the Lord to always help you to be in your rightful place, wherever that might either keep you or take you.

This entry was posted in Choices, Contentment, God's Will, Temptation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will

  1. SPTP2011 says:

    Just what I needed to hear today – Thank you and thank God for guiding you

  2. zakia says:

    This couldn’t come at a better time! God’s timing is so amazing, and the way He can bring me to something written almost 2.5 years ago and bless me is NOTHING short of amazing. He totally just spoke to me through you! Keep writing, living, and learning! God bless! ❤

  3. I reposted a reflection today from my website and blog that relates to a bird’s nest. I was then led to look for biblical connections today to the birds nest and I was led to this post. Thank you. I believe that my current journey has been inspired by your post. Yours in Christ.

  4. This evening I realized a bird made a nest perfectly nestled in my front door wreath. There are 3-4 eggs in the nest. The bird flew out when I arrived to unlock the door. Now I have to go through the back door until these birds grow up and fly away. I’m flattered that they consider my door’s wreath a safe haven…
    I wonder if the Lord is trying to tell me something with this. I will pray that HIS will is revealed and done.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, it sounds like you’ve got your own personal object lesson from the Lord there. I don’t know what He might be saying to you through it, but praying His will is revealed and done is always a good thing. God bless.

  5. angela says:

    Than you for your information. Last week two swans were laying on my sister’s lawn. She is going through chemotherapy and stays with me at this time. Today I found a bird sitting on a nest on my patio and I didn’t disturb the bird. Lately, I’ve been planning to move out of town and now wondering what does the appearance of birds mean for her and myself.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks Angela, I’m glad the post was a blessing to you. I wouldn’t even begin to try to guess what the appearance of the birds means for you, but what I do know is that God has a plan for your life. And I’m sure that if you are sincere in wanting to do His will and you keep yourself open to His leading, He’ll make sure that you make the right choice.

  6. joan says:

    I’m contemplating God’s will for my life. and here I am, I ran into your comment of leaving the nest,but to leave the comfort zone to the unknown our faith really has to be in action. Thanks for your enlightenment.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you, Joan, for reading and commenting. I wish you all the best as you seek God’s leading.

  7. Dee Franklin says:

    I was praying a few days ago and the voice in my spirit said ‘bird nest’ and I cannot get it out of my mind. It’s as though I saw a bird nest with a few speckeled eggs in it but no bird was around. My thought was is this a birthing time in my life for something God has for me. Each of us is so small in the scheme of things but God has definite plans for each of our lives. I am no longer a young woman but active. Since I lost my husband 2 1/2 years ago, my relationship with the Lord is so awesome — that’s the best way I can explain it. He has been so faithful and I have made it this far with a joy that only He can provide. I’m so thankful for that, but the bird nest concerns me a little. Any comment or ideas.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Dee, thanks for reading and commenting. If we stick strictly to the meaning of Proverbs 27:8, the bird’s nest described in the verse symbolizes being in God’s will (wherever that might be). We’ll never be safer or more effective in terms of service than we are when we are operating inside the confines of God’s will. I love the fact that God has a specific “place” for each of us.

      As I pointed out in the post, however, the verse is not necessarily an indictment against us ever moving. We know from the Bible that God oftentimes either commands people to relocate or allows circumstances that force them to relocate. Again, the teaching of the verse is that it is paramount that a person always be in his or her “place.” Anyone who steps outside God’s will by leaving his or her “place” does so at great risk.

      In regards to the voice in your spirit, I’m not one of these preachers who dismisses such things out of hand. I do, however, advise caution. Can God speak to you in that way? Absolutely. That’s how the voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit works inside the Christian. But Satan and his demons just love to mess with us. That’s why we need to ask God to give us spiritual discernment and wisdom.

      As for your mental image of a bird’s nest (possibly with a few speckled eggs in it), I wouldn’t begin to try to offer you any counsel on what that might mean. While I don’t doubt your sincerity for a moment, things start to get murky pretty quickly anytime we get outside the realm of scripture. I suppose the best counsel I can give you is to earnestly ask God to clear up any confusion you are having. Tell Him, “Lord, if I don’t do Your will, it will only be because I don’t know your will.” That simple line in prayer has always helped me. One thing is for sure: if God wants you to do something or if (as you suspect) He has something for you,, He’ll eventually let you know it quite clearly. He is obligated to do that, especially for a child of His who is honestly trying to get it right.

  8. I found this very powerful. I am making what I called Birdsnest baskets out of wool. I could send you a sample if you gave me your email address. I would like to insert a copy of your writing in each basket that I make.

    When I moved from Toronto to St. Thomas, Ontario 24 years ago, it was as if I was leaving the nest. The nest was Toronto where my mother was still living and my sister. Immediately, my mother had problems to the point that I lived in Toronto and in St. Thomas travelling both ways for a very long time. It was as if God was allowing me to stretch my wings and be in two nests at the same time to help the mother bird. When I read your article this morning, it really made sense to me. Thank you so much. Hope to hear from you soon. You can write me at gail@gailmcnaughton.com.

    Cheers, Gail

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