July 26, 2012
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:27-29
Piping plovers are a threatened and endangered species along the Atlantic Coast, and are the focus of special efforts to protect them from predators and humans at three national parks sites: Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey, and Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras National Seashores in Massachusetts and North Carolina, respectively.
Which is why it made the news when two nests at Gateway were vandalized earlier this month (read the press release and see a newborn plover and unhatched eggs here).
According to the report, the netting that shields the nesting area was ripped open and all the eggs stolen. A single set of human tracks was found coming and going.
Did you know it’s a felony to violate the Endangered Species Act? A first offense comes with a $5,000 fine and/or five-year imprisonment. Piping plovers are also protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and a conviction of that law can merit a $5,000 to $250,000 fine or up to two years in jail.
Jesus used many things in the natural world to illustrate the way God relates to us. Birds are one example. “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” He rhetorically asks His listeners during what is called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:26).
There is so little security in this world. House values plummet, jobs vanish, politicians waffle, relationships fall apart, loved ones die. But those who trust in God can rest in His hands, even when earthly foundations crumble and circumstances disappoint. “The thief,” Jesus said, “comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that [you] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
When our “nests” are disturbed, we can look to the One who has the will and power to keep His promise that we are held fast: “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…of all God has given Me I lose nothing” (John 6:37, 39).
It’s a steady and sure comfort for shaky times.