Brrr… we’re not used to cold in the Rio Grande Valley. But one February morning two years ago, the temperature didn’t rise above the 20s. I peeked outside my window, hoping I might see some of the snow that others said was flurrying in the night. Alas, nothing but a little ice.

As I looked, a tiny, shivering, hummingbird flew up to the feeder, not realizing the nectar was frozen solid. Amazingly, he stayed. His throat moved. He was drinking! Throughout the day, this little buff-bellied hummingbird returned. Even though the top part of the feeder looked frozen, there must have been unfrozen nectar in the well. I saw the hummingbird return dozens of times. He’d shiver, fluff his feathers, take a sip, and seem to sigh in relief. That sugary mix gave just the energy he needed to keep warm.

Jesus suggests, when we feel beset by troubles and anxieties, we find a bird and look at it. When we do, we’ll remember that God, who provides for birds, can be counted on to provide for us, too.

The little tropical hummingbird expanded my understanding of Jesus’ teaching. Before, I always pictured God providing for birds in warmth and sun. But the freezing weather opened my eyes to the fullness of what Jesus meant: no matter the season, God provides. Not just for birds, but for us, too. We just have to trust. And like that little hummingbird, come to the feeder with hope.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26)

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