Woodpeckers…are a unique bird to say the least. So many species. There are eight in North Texas. Recently, a redheaded woodpecker decided to form his nest in our oak tree out back. For about three weeks, every time I went out I could hear the rat-tat-tat of his beak drilling a hole in our limb high above our back door. Bark, wood pulp, all came flying down on our roof and porch. Finally, the limb nest (crevice) was carefully and skillfully finished. A week later I saw mama and papa woodpecker flying back-and-forth with food which they crammed down what I believe was their offspring’s throat during different times of the day.
I decided to look up the characteristics and features of the woodpecker. I won’t highlight them as you can peruse them up on Google. You will find it simply amazing. They are incredibly made. Everything about them is unique, including their brain and features of their body. All designed to accomplish what I have just described. Unique may be an understatement. As I have been observing this on my shelter in place sabbatical, I thought about us as individuals created by God.
Fearfully and wonderfully made
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book are written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psa. 139.13-16 ESV).
Have you ever really, I mean really, stopped and considered the uniqueness of your body, let alone your spirit and your soul. And when you get beyond that, focus on how God has uniquely made you as a person, as a being, as an instrument to be used in his hands for his glory, for our good and the good of the kingdom of God. Those woodpeckers are so well designed to accomplish their mission, there is no reason to believe they cannot be successful. I bet they don’t sit around on a limb wondering, can I really do that? What if I were to fail; do I really have the tools to bore that hole and raise a family? Oh, by the way, you will find that they are really great at eliminating insects that would damage your tree or other parts of the ecology. They love those insects. God also put that instinct in them.
Read the Psalm again. Look at how incredibly made you are. Not only every detail of your physical features but your gifts, the days on the earth. There was a man that used to travel with us from Nashville on Lay Renewals back in the 80s. One of his many expressions was: “God don’t make no junk”. That’s Psalm 139 in Southern drawl. But he doesn’t. He is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. He has a mission that he started in Genesis. You are a part of that mission. He has uniquely gifted you, placed you where he needs you. And he asks you to ‘bloom where you are planted’.
Might you be equipped to be a prayer warrior, an evangelist, a disciple maker, a teacher, caregiver, a visitor, musician, a missionary (in your neighborhood or around the world), writer, artist, poet, administrator, speaker, parent, giver, technology guru, exhorter, preacher, equipper, encourager, elder, deacon, church planter? All these that are unique to you can be a part of your daily life, your chosen profession. The red headed woodpecker would say to you, ‘be what God has created you to be’. Do that and bring glory to his Name and joy to your soul. No more, no less!