If anyone reading this has not read all the fascinating reports of the intelligence of crows and ravens, I highly recommend you to look into it.  If you can't find it elsewhere, the Answers in Genesis website has plenty of articles and links about them (especially in the News to Note).  Besides being a testimony to God's brilliant creation, there is a lot to learn from the birds.  One of the most important lessons God has shown me through them is on resourcefulness.


Originally, I thought resourcefulness was saving everything in case you find something to do with it later, although somehow things that were less interesting had a harder time getting saved for later use, and what did get saved took up valuable space and time while I tried to find a place to store it.  What's worse, I argued about it with my mother, who didn't like the mess the "resources" were making.  Plus, I was pretty fuzzy on how resourcefulness and not storing up treasures on this earth could be reconciled.


God has a really neat way of providing what we need just when we need it.  He didn't send the Manna all at once, but just when everybody needed it.  The widow that the prophet visited did not find numerous extra barrels of oil at once, but kept finding more and more and more oil in the same barrel--and increasing her faith at the same time.  God doesn't want us to waste what He provides, but He also doesn't want us to hoard up stuff we don't need.  That's what giving is for.  If we wind up with too much of a surplus, there might be esomething we should do with it.  But what happens when if we find ourselves with too little?


God often uses lack of resources to redirect His servants, as He did with Israel in Genesis 42-46.  A lack of funding might be God's way of telling us to wait.  Sometimes, however, it is impossible to wait.  Suppose a person was short of food, and didn't have enough money to buy any.  Does that mean the Lord wants that person to refrain from eating? 


This is where the birds come in.  For one thing, the birds don't sow nor reap nor gather in barns, but they trust the Lord and He provides for them.  But they don't just sit around doing nothing.  They really work for their food.  Sometimes that food is just out of reach, though.  That doesn't stop the crows.  They use the resources God has provided them to reach the resources they need.  Like the bird in Aesop's Fables, they drop pebbles into jars to raise the water level where they can drink.  One particularly spectacular study pitted ravens against a rather complicated obstacle course.  Food was hidden in a pipe where it could only be reached with a long stick.  A long stick was placed in a cage where it could only be reached with a short stick.  A short stick was tied to a rope dangling in the middle of the room.  With no previous training, the crows freed the short stick, then used that to obtain the long stick, which they then used to gain their much deserved prize. 


A lot of times it seems that what we need is a little out of our reach.  After all, there's only so much money around.  But even if we can't get the resources we need, maybe we can use the resources we have to get the resources we need.  Extra stuff laying around the house may bring the money needed.  This really is not such a strange concept, it's just another way God has provided for us to work for our food. 


Maybe this doesn't seem earth-shattering to y'all, but it really convicted me, and gave me a new appreciation for birds.

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Comment by Charles Martin Jr on December 23, 2010 at 7:25am

Nice application!  Thanks!


I've heard it said that crows are like the Einstein's of the bird community. . . .

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