Of Egrets and Rest

One of my many childhood memories is of a time my father took me to Muar’s riverbank to watch migratory birds nesting in the mangroves at the end of the year. I chased after the herons and egrets to catch them. My father burst into laughter as he chased after me! Well, I was young!

In my recent trip back to Muar, my dad and I took the same path. We sat at a bench and reminisced about our annual bird-watching affairs. We couldn’t help but laugh at my silly attempt to capture the birds.

I sat and gazed at an egret resting on a tree, and remembered the words from Matthew 6:25-27, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

My trip back to Muar showed me where and how I started. As I drove through the roads and alleys in Muar, I was reminded of all my growing up experiences, that all of my life’s events are carefully planned. Every step of the way, in every hill and valley, God was there, and He has provided for me and my family.

The words from the book of Matthew reveal to me the truth of who God is: He is a God who cares. He provides for us. We are valuable to Him.

I found myself in a place where the concerns of my life overwhelmed me. Deadlines and the demands of life were stretching me thin. I was at risk of being burned out.  

Mysteriously and intentionally, God used His creations to show me who He is, and reminded me who I am in Him. He has my life all planned out, just as He did in my past.  

That evening, I left the riverbank with a profound sense of gratitude and (a long-awaited) rest.

In the words of St Augustine, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

What is concerning you right now? What is taking up most of your energy and attention away from God?

Pause. Go to Him. He will give you rest.

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