don’t think it actually knows it’s “mine,” but it’s drinking my sugar water outside my window so I have claimed ownership. It’s a remarkable creature. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, they weigh less than a nickel, can beat their wings up to 80 times per second, can fly backwards, sideways, upside down and stop instantly to hover. I also learned the female always builds the nest — I suppose because she knows exactly where she wants to place the furniture and hang the pictures.
Hummingbirds have to eat constantly and like to return to the same feeding places. So “my” hummingbird, “Frodo,” visits a lot. The other day, however, the wind was gusting between 20 and 30 mph. Trees were swaying, flags were stiff in the breeze and empty garbage cans were being blown down the street. I was certain little Frodo was hunkered down somewhere as it would be impossible for him to fly in such a wind.
Then suddenly, there he was.
I stared in amazement as the little guy pushed against the wind to perch on the swaying feeder. It just didn’t seem at all possible. Frodo hovered, found his perch on the feeder, completely ignoring the garbage cans being blown down the street. He would step off his perch, fly backwards a foot or so, hover, then perch again and have his lunch. When he was done, he zoomed off only to return throughout the day to repeat his remarkable performance.
As I watched the tiny hummingbird, I smiled as I thought about another “hummingbird” named Vladimir Miguel Bravo, one of our national missionaries. (We wrote about him a few months back.) Desperately poor and an alcoholic before he was a teenager, he seemed destined to be another sad statistic bound for a forgotten, meaningless life. In his case, the “wind” pushing against him seemed far too strong to ever overcome.
Then suddenly, there he was!
With all the obstacles and impossibilities facing Vladimir, he was now studying to be a pastor and church planter. It didn’t seem possible.
Watching little Frodo flying against the wind, I couldn’t help but wish God would calm the wind a bit so he didn’t have to work so hard just to eat. I suspect Vladimir also wished God would “calm” things down around his life so he didn’t have to work so hard just to survive.
We do know, of course, God can and does calm storms. But I suspect most of the time, He lets us face the “impossible” elements surrounding us. Rather than calm the storm(s), He often lets us face them so we can learn how to “fly” as we trust Him.
It is interesting that during this Covid-19 storm, we at LOGOI Ministries have had more pastors and national missionaries “use us” than ever before. We didn’t change anything (it was already in place), but thousands seemed to find us for the first time. This includes a group of 840 men and women (from 25 different countries, Argentina-Venezuela) who took on the challenge of serious Bible study, courses, and exams as they sheltered in place.
We’re still learning their stories, but so many are just like Vladimir. God is preparing them to “fly” in the midst of their storms. Many of you accepted our challenge to help cover their course fees, and we’re so grateful. Your donations covered more than 580 courses, but we still have some 260 students to cover. Will you help? Fifteen dollars ($15) covers the cost/tuition of one of our Bible courses. It is a wonderful and powerful gift.
Romans 1:20 tells us, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
God’s little tiny miracle of the hummingbird is certainly evidence of God as creator and sustainer. So is Vladimir. So are we!
Now, let’s fly!
P.S. I found a great video which describes how hummingbirds fly in the face of strong winds. You can see it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyqY64ovjfY