Since moving to my country, I’ve gained a new found admiration of birds. It all started with a trip to a national park here where I greatly anticipated observing the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and cape buffalo), but found myself riding in a vehicle with 4 avid bird watchers. My first thought was, “Great … this is going to be boring!” However I was pleasantly surprised to be completely enamored by all the beautiful birds we saw … I beheld animals that I would have never seen if it had not been for those four dear friends.
I really do love all the birds I have seen in Africa, but there are some birds that I wish would go away. They are mentioned in Mk 4:4,15, the Parable of the Soils. The birds are described as snatching the seed sown on hard ground, and Jesus says that they represent Satan. My pastor here described it this way – whenever seed is sown, birds start to gather around so they can eat up every bit they can find after the sower passes; in the same way, Satan and his demons gather around when the good news is preached so they can quickly snatch up the seed that doesn’t quickly soak into the hard hearts that belong to some of the hearers.
The people with whom I share have hard hearts – they have been raised in a culture that teaches them to immediately reject the truth. They have been indoctrinated against the sweetest words ever spoken, “Jesus Christ saves.” Weekly, I go out and share the good news and most of the seed falls on hard ground where Satan and his workers are able to quickly snatch the truth away.
Pray with me that this work will not be in vain – that my presence, my walking among the people, and my words will be like a plow used by the Holy Spirit to soften hard hearts so that soon there will be little seed for the “birds” to snatch away because the seed has fallen on good soil and taken root. I do not want to see those birds anymore.