Last week, I mentioned the bald eagles I saw soaring (and heard screeching) above Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska while I was hiking there a number of years ago.  It was an amazing sight.  On my drive back home to the church I served in Chugiak, I passed another place where the birds had gathered in numbers.  At Potter Marsh on the south side of Anchorage, many cars had pulled over to the shoulder.  People lined the edges and walkways along the marsh.  They were watching what had to be hundreds of migratory birds that had finally returned to Alaska for the summer.  The sheer number of birds and the large amount of noise they produced was quite impressive.

People will often say, “It’s for the birds” to express the futility or unimportance of something.  But these little creatures are not to be underestimated.  In Salt Lake City stands a monument to sea gulls.  In 1848, they had saved the crops of the new settlers by eating the crickets.  We read in the Bible that God directed the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah during a famine.  In Matthew, Jesus points to the birds as teaching us not to worry, for the Heavenly Father feeds them and us.

A great truth is at work here.  God can do great things through otherwise weak beings.  Paul wrote the people of Corinth who demanded wise and powerful speakers as their spiritual leaders, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, …, He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

God chose to save broken, sinful people through His Son Jesus.  His Son became a man whom His enemies could nail to a shameful cross.  Jesus had chosen twelve very ordinary men to be His disciples.  They turned the world upside down through the sharing of the simple Gospel of God’s love.  He chose the apostle Paul who is described in 2 Corinthians 10:10 as, “In person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”

God still accomplishes His saving purpose that way.  He will do that through those many would view as uninfluential.  Little children whose faith in Jesus is an example to adults.  Through poor, and often poorly educated, people who possess the wisdom of God.  Through social outcasts whom God has accepted because they believed in Him.  Through these unexpected people, God gets the job done.

“It’s for the birds”?  The situation is hopeless?  Not if God has a purpose to fulfill.  God indeed works through the “weak” things of this world to show us His strength.


From one who lives in weakness but clings to the strength of God’s love,

Pastor Steve