When you need a defender

I have a pile of brown thrashers in a bush near my house right now.

When I first discovered the nest with eggs, I received a crash course in brown thrasher behavior. I poked my nose into a bush to get a closer look, and the mama flew out making it clear that I was not to enter her air space. Her behavior caused me to have flashbacks of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds.” This encounter helped me realize I was not going to be snapping pictures of the little ones every day like I did with a wrens’ nest. 

Later when I researched brown thrashers, I learned they are territorial and fierce defenders of the nest. They have even been known to attack humans. Yeah, I got that. The picture I snapped above was done quickly during a brief time the mom was absent.

In recent days, I’ve been made aware of a story that concerns someone I’ve had the privilege of meeting. She has a child who has profound developmental challenges. He was receiving care but needed assistance on a much higher level. The mother has been unrelenting in searching for ways he could receive this care as the extraordinary cost was beyond her means. Years went by, and the parents separated under the stress of his care. But the mother never gave up on her child. Then one day, she received an unexpected phone call. The caller on the other end said, “I hear you have a problem.” Before the mother could even engage, this person offered to pay for her son’s care that year. She couldn’t believe it. Her prayers had been answered. Within months of arriving at the place she had wanted for him, her son began to experience dramatic improvement. That was years ago, and the provision for his care from someone who wanted to remain an anonymous benefactor is still coming. God honored the commitment of a fierce mom who continued to advocate for her son.

This mother’s love points to the much greater love of the one who made us. God is also our defender, our advocate, and His fierceness makes the brown thrasher’s pale in comparison.

The Psalmist David once wrote, “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Psalm 62:6). David’s confidence in God’s ability to protect and defend him even when he was fleeing for his life remained high. Ours should, too.

We are His children, and when we are desperate, when we are wronged, when we are misunderstood, when we are attacked, when we are between the proverbial rock and hard place, God is there. God is present. God is our defender. And He is fierce and unflinching. He is not turned back by any adversary, and He is always ready to come to our aid. Now, it may not look exactly like we think it might, but He always has the larger picture in mind for our good and His glory. 

Like the mother who never gave up, He will never abandon us or forget us.

We can find great comfort in embracing God as our defender.

The brown thrasher is the state bird of Georgia, and from the picture, it appears those little ones are getting ready to fledge which will help with the declining numbers of the species. With the brown thrasher's repertoire of more than one thousand songs and calls, the trees are likely to fill with music around here. And I’d say that’s worth almost getting pecked on my head.