The Hummingbird Fight

  • Feb. 12, 2018
  • #9336

Like hummingbirds fighting over a feeder, sometimes we can get so competitive. But as Christians, we are to follow Jesus' example of serving, rather than competing.

The Hummingbird Fight

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I’ll bet you know that old hymn “Trust and Obey.” Here’s a different arrangement and sing it with me, would you? It’s just really beautiful.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word,
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

I tell you, obedience does not come easy, does it? My friend Francie and I, she was up at my house recently and we were looking out on my backyard patio not long ago and we were observing a real dog fight. No, not between canines, but between hummingbirds. I mean, these two little guys were flitting and fighting over the hummingbird feeder. And what was strange is, there are two feeders hanging from my eave, both of them full. There’s enough syrup to fatten 500 hummingbirds! But, no, these two kept battling with neither enjoying the syrup. Actually, last fall it was so funny to watch this one little brown hummingbird who staked his claim over our Mexican sage bush against our backyard fence. This little guy would sit right on the top of the fence and just wait. And if another hummingbird so much as dared come close, it was buzz-zzzzz, chasing him away. You know, those little birds only have so much energy, and it was a sorry sight to see them expend all of it on fighting.

Francie finally said, “Can’t you guys just get along?!” It reminds me of the way we act at times. We’d never admit it, we would hardly recognize it of ourselves, but we’re so territorial. So competitive. We stake our claim over some project at work or at church, we stake our claim over a friend. In very subtle ways, we make everybody know that this is our friendship, that’s our baby, this is our project, that’s our thing, our responsibility. Why do we do this?! Well, appearing more than 1,000 times in the Bible, the word “heart” can have a broad range of meaning, but at its core are our motivations. We’re simply territorial creatures: defensive, protective, and selfish. And simply put, the heart’s root motivation is “I want – I want control. I want recognition. I want to have the final say.” Yep, that’s a hummingbird’s mentality alright! 

But contrast this with Romans chapter 8, verse 32 where it says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Friend, there is an abundance of grace and opportunity available, so quit protecting your turf: it’s time to get along! Take the spotlight off yourself and put it on someone else. Let the credit go to another. Let someone else step to the foreground while you step back. Because your security doesn’t lie in a project or even getting validation from other people.

Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to see these little hummingbirds, I have posted a photo of one of them at a birdfeeder that I think you’ll enjoy seeing. Just drop by my radio page today at Can’t we all just get along? God thinks we can.

Previously aired as Program #7765 on:  2/3/12

Music: "Trust and Obey" by John H. Sammis; Public Domain.

© Joni and Friends


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