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While I know a lot of people who love the birds in their garden, I also know that it's rare for their feelings of affection to be reciprocated. But for eight-year- old Gabi Mann of Seattle, Washington, it isn’t rare. In fact, it’s an everyday reality. Over the past few years, she has befriended the crows that come to her family’s garden, making sure to feed each individually. And in return, the crows have begun to bring her gifts: everything from pieces of smooth glass, to buttons, beads, and even lost pieces of jewelry. It’s an odd assortment of items, but to Gabi this collection of treasures is more precious than gold. Now, while Gabi is certainly rare in her relationship with her local flock of birds, she isn’t the first person who’s been brought something precious from the sky.
In the book of first Kings, God warned the prophet Elijah that a famine was coming to Israel, and told him to leave the city and go out to the desert. While he was there, God promised him something special:
"You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there” (1 Kings 17:4 NIV).
And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. While Elijah was out in the middle of nowhere, Scripture tells us that –
"The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening…” (1 Kings 17:6 NIV).
Stop and imagine that for a second. During a famine, Elijah was led by God to walk out into the middle of the desert, where nothing grows and where he was far away from all food sources — and he was told that his food supply will arrive by raven. I’m sure even Elijah thought that sounded unlikely! But then, sure enough, it happened like clockwork, and every morning and every evening a flock of ravens brought him his food. While it isn’t surprising to me that God provides — he is our Father, after all — what can be surprising, is how that provision arrives. Scripture is full of more stories of provision just like Elijah and the ravens.
So I want to encourage all of us this week to look at the ways that God has blessed us unexpectedly. Where has his grace arrived in your life that was remarkable and extraordinary? And where has his abundance been found where you least expected it?
You might be surprised to find out!
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.