Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Chase the Daylight

Episode Summary

God is light, and there is no darkness in him. As his disciple, are you doing all you can to live in the light? Pursue right living, turn from darkness, and head for the light!

Episode Notes

Visit the ornitheology blog.

Episode Transcription

Spring is almost here, and so are the feathered friends at my birdfeeder!

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and just ask my husband. Or my girlfriend who gets me up in the morning. I love my backyard birds, and if the feeder gets low, I’m asking my husband to fill it up with seed because I so enjoy watching the excitement of bird chatter, color, the flash of feathers in the yard beyond my window. Birds are the best! Now it does not make me an ornithologist, but I follow one. Kevin Burrell is a PCA pastor, a special needs dad, a bird-watcher, and he’s got a blog he calls Ornitheology. In short, he draws amazing, insightful biblical lessons from birds. Like, his recent essay about the Arctic Tern.

Now if you don’t know much about this fascinating bird, let me describe it. God created the Arctic Tern with the streamlines of a supersonic jet. This elegant-looking bird is lightweight, sleek, designed with a striking black cap on its head. The Arctic Tern is unique in that it thrives above the Arctic Circle, especially when the Arctic summer sun never quite sets below the horizon. This bird lives in and loves perpetual daylight. It flourishes in it. But get this – as soon as the sun begins to dip below Earth’s horizon, signaling the coming of winter – as soon as this amazing bird senses that perpetual darkness is on its way – they all head south in a massive migration. They leave the Arctic, and they fly all the way to the Antarctic. No creature that God has created on this planet lives more of its life in the daylight. Kevin Burrell, in his essay, summarized it this way; he says: “The Arctic Tern would say something like, ‘I will do whatever it takes to live as fully in the light as this world allows me to.’”

Now, does that resonate with your heart? Could you and I say the same? Psalm 97:11 says, “Light shines on the righteous, and joy on the upright in heart.” So do we do whatever it takes to live as fully in the light as we can? This amazing bird teaches quite a lesson. It’s the way with all living things, isn’t it? God infuses his creatures with great lessons about himself, doesn’t he? And so the lesson of this bird is, as followers of Jesus, we should be committed to chasing the daylight, just like the Arctic Tern. First John 1:5 says that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” And so, friend, if God is light, then let us – let’s you and me – be Arctic Terns. Let us live so fully in the light that it totally defines us. Let’s be the kind of disciples who, when darkness begins to encroach, let’s immediately turn and head for the son-shine. The shining light of Jesus.

Look, none of these thoughts are original to me. I’m just a fair-weather friend of birds; it’s birdwatchers like Kevin Burrell who understand birds on a major level. But if you’re like me, if you enjoy the birds in your backyard, then you simply must read the rest of his wonderful essay. Just visit today where I have provided a link to Kevin’s ornitheology blog. He’s got essays like this one: “Mockingbird. Repeat After Me.” And “Pigeon. Knowing the Way Home.” And here’s this essay: “Wren. Lessons in Relentless Song.” I haven’t read that one yet, but it’s on my list. So join the chatter at, and learn what the God of the Bible has to teach us through these delightful birds and more. And remember, God is light, so lets you and me be Arctic Terns and head for his Son. Pursue right living and you will see his light.


© Joni and Friends