The Chaffinch

What a colourful bird is the Chaffinch.

In springtime when the birds are feeding their young many come to our garden to eat the titbits my husband leaves for them. The food ranges from bread crumbs, left overs and some seeds. Each bird is glad of any extra food to feed their fast growing young.   I enjoy the company of our feathered friends.

Over the summer the Robin was our regular visitor, with only a few visits from Sparrows and Tits. The young had flown the nest and the breeding season had come to an end. The adults could take a rest. We would have only an occasional visit from the Chaffinch.

The Chaffinch is larger and stronger looking than the robin and more confident. He is handsome with a blue-grey cap, reddish-brown breast and back.

It’s now winter. Brendan supplements the food he leaves out with bird seed bought from the pet shop. The Chaffinch is now a frequent visitor. Brendan noticed he comes to feed when dark seeds are left out. He is not so fond of bread or other lighter coloured seeds. He feeds on seed from the thistle, which is a thorny plant. The chaffinch is sometimes associated with Christ’s crown of thorns.

It is a delight to see this beautiful visitor on our fence in the morning especially after reading about the chaffinch’s association with Our Saviour. I lift my eyes to our God who made the heavens and the earth. I thank God for his son Jesus. The crown of thorns pierced his head, blood flowed down his forehead and matted his hair. The flesh on his back was opened up with the thongs of a whip. His body and clothes were covered in blood from his wounds. Men turned away from the sight.

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:2-3, 5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus wounds healed me from fourth stage cancer.

Why do Thorns, Thistles and Weeds take over Good Soil?

When I moved to our last house we had a garden at the front of the house.  It was south facing.  When spring came we sat outside in the sunshine.  It was private.  I invested in sun loungers and my children would compete who could get sitting on them when I was not around.

I sat outside relaxing.  I looked around my garden.  I planned what I would do to improve it.

I grew up on a farm.  I remember helping my father gather potatoes.  I was not afraid to get my hands dirty.  I helped mum with her work collecting eggs.   Dad kept a milking herd of cows.  It was an early start each morning for my father, every day of the year.  My mother and father worked to rear their family of ten children.

I would watch as my father trimmed the hedgerows or mended gaps to keep animals from getting out of the field.

I inspected the holly hedge at the front of the garden and the two walls at either side. The hedge needed trimmed and encouraged to grow higher.  The walls had become overgrown with ivy.  The previous owner had cut the grass but the thorns and weeds were taking over on both sides.

I decided to reclaim some land!  I was able to use my experience from growing up on the farm.  I got on my working boots and clothes.  I began to tackle the thorns with sharp hooks.  My children watched and joined in to help.

In early spring the thorns and weeds are the first plants to emerge.  The thorns send out their shoots sideways.  Very soon they can cover a piece of ground.   I was determined to deal with them.  I was going to reclaim two stripes of ground at the side of my garden.

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My boys helped me.  In no time we discovered rich composted soil under the surface of matted briars.  We trimmed the ivy that had hidden the stone walls.  I burned up all the thorns and ivy.

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One does not have to plant weeds or thistles.  They just appear.  It is true what the God said to Adam.  Thorns and thistles will grow.
To Adam he said,  “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food. (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV)

It is a constant battle for the farmer to get rid of weeds and allow the wheat to grow to produce food.

As I cleared the weeds and thorns that was covering the good soil, I thought about how bad things come into people’s lives to stop the good in their lives coming forth.  I thought how Jesus came and moved among people and delivered them from the things that prevented them living normal lives.  Sickness, infirmity, epilepsy, leprosy and depression were cured by Jesus.  These things are like weeds and thorns in peoples lives.

Jesus told his disciples to do what he did.  He  gave them authority to use his Name.  After Jesus died and shed his blood on the cross he defeated the power of the devil.  By calling on the name of Jesus and claiming the power of His blood all “weeds and thorns” in our lives can be removed.  Then we can live fruitful lives.