Red-Bellied Woodpecker


Thoughts on nature and the Christian faith  -  1/14/19

"God looks down from heaven on the children of man to

see if there are any who understand, who seek after God."

-  Ps. 53:2


A colorful bird perched on a tree branch

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The red-bellied woodpecker is one of my favorite birds. To my eyes, they are some of the most beautiful birds we have where I live. Several of these birds nest on our property and the sound of their constant hammering on trees looking for food is music to my ears. I have watched these birds literally decimate dead trees in a search for insects. They are the very definition of persistence. They can't see their food source as other birds can, they must seek until they find. And do they ever seek. We could learn much from red-bellied woodpeckers. God is invisible to our eyes so to find him he must be sought. Evidence of his existence is everywhere in nature, but knowing God exists is not the same as seeking and finding him. He is found in a way we can understand in the person of Jesus. And Jesus is found and understood as he is revealed in scripture. To know the Son is to know the Father. Sadly, although everyone talks about God, few take the effort to really know him. Although it may be true that the number one best seller of all books is the Bible, it may also be true that the least read of all books is also the Bible. Most people attempt to know God through some sort of religious experience. And so, experience becomes what we pursue. But coming to know God as he is revealed to us in scripture through his Son is what results in experience, not the other way around. Knowledge precedes and produces feeling. The great saints throughout church history are the men and women who sought God primarily through his holy word. It was then, and only then, that they came to know personally the One whom they sought. We would be wise to do the same.  -  John