In one of my more recent posts, I mentioned how the house wrens had returned for a second time. Once again I was able to watch the miracle unfold as the wrens engaged in their nesting routine and finally gave birth to their chicks. I could hear the very quiet peeping as the parents began to feed the hungry chicks on a regular basis. As time passed the noise became louder and louder as the chicks grew into adulthood. The waiting game had begun as to when the chicks would finally fly from the bird house. I had prayed that the Lord would allow me to witness the event and He honored my request. Early in the morning before I started my daily exercise routine I saw a beak sticking out of the hole of the bird box. Then the first chick emerged, sat on the perch for awhile, and then flew onto the deck. It hopped around as if trying to get its "bird legs" and finally flew off into the bushes where the parents were waiting. Then a second chick emerged and again perched for awhile before flying off into the bushes. One of the parent birds flew back to the box to check and see if it was empty. The parent called into the box then flew away back into the bushes. Next a third chick came out and was perched for a mere moment before the last chick pushed chick number three off the perch, forcing it to fly quickly off into the bushes. The last chick remained perched for what seemed like forever before it finally joined the others in the bushes. The parent bird came back to the box for one final look and then flew off to join the offspring. I could hear the wrens calling to each other from the bushes. It was almost like they were rejoicing in their freedom or maybe in their bird-like way praising God for their new life. This event reminded me of the church and how I believe God wants us to operate. Each of those chicks had its own personality much like the body of Christ. Some are bold to step out in faith, others need a little push. Paul tells us, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us." (Romans 5:4-6) Furthermore, Paul spells out the body's responsibility to one another as we use our gifts, "..to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12-13) Those house wrens grew together being fed by their parent until they were mature enough to be sent out. Likewise God feeds us with His word, maturing us so that we can be sent out to share the gospel. I was moved by the way the parent bird came back to check and make sure no chick was left behind. It is a beautiful picture of God's faithfulness and love towards us as Jesus calls us to go and make disciples. And as we are going and making disciples he promises, "And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) I am resting in God's promise that as I go to plant a church, He will be ever present as I spread my wings and get ready to takeoff!