A robin built a nest on a low limb of the tree outside our front window. She built her nest alone. Her mate tried to help, but most of what he built she had to redo. Males just get in the way. Only a female can make a nest a home. She built it with sturdy twigs twisted together to form a cup in the fork of a limb, then lined with soft grass and moss, comfortable and warm for the chicks soon to come.
She sat for two weeks, never seeming to move. Always vigilant. Always alert. Smothering the eggs in her warmth, waiting patiently until her babies crack open the thin blue shells that surround their embryonic beginnings.
I named her Ethel, and her absent mate, Fred. Fred has been off singing somewhere, but, when the eggs hatched and the babies raised their beaks and their voices in hunger, he showed up with food for Ethel and the babies. He did so on June 1. It was an exciting day, I can tell you. When their feathers grow, he will teach them to forage for food and fly to the trees while she builds another nest for another brood.
Fred and Ethel have mated for life. Each spring they return to where we live and look for one another so she can build another nest and raise some more robins. Who taught them to do this? How do they know to look for each other each year, and how does she know how to build a nest, lay her eggs and nurture them?
I know that some say it's an accident, the result of random chance. That somehow an amoeba evolved into a robin, built a nest and laid some eggs that hatched into little robins, and that this has been going on for thousands of years. How did the first robin that laid the first egg know what to do with it?
It makes more sense to me to marvel that I'm surrounded by miracles and mystery. Life is too complex and too beautiful to exist without a Master Designer who fashioned the first feathers and taught the first robin to fly.
In His famous conversation with Job, God asks, “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, stretching his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place." (Job 39:26-28).
Jesus said, “Consider the birds, they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:24). And, we might add, how much more miraculous you are? God has designed you, made you and declared His love for you. God says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).