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Sunflower Seeds and Manna

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I had seen a pair of cardinals in our yard and heard their metallic chip, chip, chip, so I hung a new bird feeder near a picture window, hoping I could entice them to eat from it.


I’ve been hungry for color during these dark, winter days, and I hoped to see the the cardinals close-up, but they were afraid.  All that bird seed that I’d put into the feeder reservoir remained uneaten.  I wished I could somehow communicate to them that there was an endless supply of their favorite seeds, food that could help keep them alive during times that other food was scarce.

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I sprinkled some sunflower seeds on the porch railing, where I had seen them light before.  First the male came, and then the female, cracking open the sunflower seed shells.  Finally, they began to perch on the bird feeder and eat there.  I quit putting seed on the railing–I didn’t want our cats to think this was a buffet invitation.


How often have I sat near the food that feeds my soul, but not feasted?   How often have I been more concerned about what to cook for dinner than digging into the Bible verses in my devotional?  Jesus dealt with people just like me during his life, people who were eager to eat the miraculously multiplied bread and fishes, but slow to receive the “bread from heaven.”

After Jesus fed the five thousand, the crowds found him again and their questions showed they were still thinking about the here and now instead of about eternal matters.  Jesus answered them

“Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”   John 6:26,27   NIV

But the people wanted a sign, another miracle.  They asked

“What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.   John 6:30-35   NIV

If the cardinals can trust my provision enough to overcome their fears, surely I can overcome whatever might hold me back from taking in the bread that gives life.  Is it fear or disorganization or plain laziness that keeps me from spending more time praying and reading my Bible?

The cardinals come to the feeder before the morning sun has painted the horizon.  Maybe morning is the best time for you to spend time in prayer and Scripture.  For years, when my children were young, I had a quiet time for devotions during afternoon nap time.

Or maybe you’re like the woman in this post by Jennifer Dukes Lee:

“The Lord wakes me up. Every night, He wakes me up. When I go to bed at night, I am so happy because I know He’s going to wake me up at 3:30.”

When God rings, Almarie answers. She gets out of bed, picks up her Bible, walks to her easy-chair and starts reading where she left off the night before. She reads, and she prays. For a whole hour.


Find the time of day that works for you.

Find the Bible version that speaks to you.

Pray:  adore Him, confess your sins, thank Him for His blessings, and ask for His help and intervention.

Breathe in the aroma of freshly baked bread that is the Bread of Life.  It’s waiting for you.  He is waiting for you.

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