We have learned a lot about these birds and knew when to start listening for baby hawk noises. Finally one morning we realized the mother was no longer in the east nest. We peered long with the binoculars and called up to the nest. Nothing. A few days later we finally saw the dirty white downy baby head and the big black eyes.
After another week the baby sat up tall and we had a clear view for the first time. It isn’t a hawk—it’s an owl! A barred owl. Although they usually have one or two siblings, this one appears to be an only child. Its mother usually sits nearby on a low branch in a live oak arching over the creek, a two foot high chunky brown and gray bird with a round head and no ear tufts, horizontal bars across its shoulders and vertical streaks running down its chest. In the evenings she flies to the garden and sits on a tomato post, just as the hawks have done for years now, occasionally swooping down to the ground to find dinner for the nestling.
The hawks have hatched now as well, two downy white babies that sit in the nest and peer over at me when I make the trek to the west side of the property to talk with them. Both of their parents sit nearby when they aren’t out hunting up food, circling above and screaming their distinctive cry.
We could talk about those parents and the care they give—in fact, I have done that before. We could talk about the way the father watches over the mother as she sets, bringing her food, then taking his turn to set when she needs a break. We’ve done that too. Today, I want to talk about this: I can’t possibly watch both nests at once. I have to walk the entire long side of the property to see one, and then back to see the other. I have often seen the hawks as they first learn to fly. I may miss that this time around if I am watching the owl learn to fly on the same day. So?
Have you ever heard someone say, “I know God has more important things to deal with than my little problems?” Is this supposed to be an excuse for a poor prayer life? Is it supposed to be a proclamation of humility? What it winds up being, if you think about it, is a lack of faith in the ability of God. I can’t watch two nests, but God can. Of the sparrows Jesus says, “Not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight,” (Luke 12:10). Then he adds, “Fear not. You are of more value than many sparrows.” Not only does God consider my small problems important, He wants me to tell Him about them.
The pagans of the world create gods they can understand based upon their own feelings. The ancient Greek gods were the height of pettiness, malice, and cruelty. Why? Because the humans who created them imputed those far too human characteristics to their personalities. We do exactly the same thing to God when we put Him in the box of our own human understanding. “I know God has/does/thinks/feels…” is the height of presumptuousness.
It is not for us to be describing God in any manner in which He does not describe Himself. “I just know God would never…” may be the most obvious way we limit God, but it is not even the most common. Even in our zealous attempts to be reverent by inventing words like “omniscient,” we are guilty of limiting Him to our own ability to understand. God is Eternal—you cannot quantify an Eternal Being because you cannot even comprehend Infinity. He is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” Eph 3:20.
Simply let His Word describe Him and our (in)ability to comprehend Him.
Behold God is great and we know him not, Job 36:26.
"Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea, Job 11:7-9.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable [immeasurable], Isaiah 40:28.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts, Isaiah 55:8-9.
God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things we cannot comprehend, Job 37:5.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" Romans 11:33-34.
It is not my place to figure out what God is doing or why, or even the possibilities of His power—He says it’s impossible to do so. It’s not my business to decide whether my problems are big enough to bother Him with—He says to bother Him. It’s not my business to decide what He might say or not say, do or not do, think or not think. To do that is to limit Him to my understanding and to be a disrespectful child who thinks he deserves an explanation from a Sovereign Creator. He has told me everything I need to know. Reverence means I just accept that.
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out, Ecclesiastes 8:16-17.