A Quail’s Heartbreak

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Mr. and Mrs. Jones love to watch birds in their yard. "I've seen a lot of unusual behaviors in birds, but this was really different," Mr. Jones said.
Their favorite kind of bird to watch is the California Quail. These quails are about as big as small chickens and have unusual plumes on their heads. They have strong legs and can often be seen running around on the ground. Also, they are monogamous, which means that once they find a mate, they stay together until one dies. Perhaps you have seen these birds and have enjoyed watching them. It is especially fun to watch a mother and father quail lead a brood of little ones around.
One day when Mr. Jones was bird watching, he saw a quail running back and forth over the same spot in the grass in his backyard. He became curious and went out to investigate. Only when he came near did the male quail run off into some nearby bushes. Sadly, Mr. Jones discovered a female quail's body dead in the grass. He decided the two birds must have been mates, and when the female died, the male didn't want to leave her. Mr. Jones thought he would help the male get over his grief by burying the dead quail out of sight. The death of the quail upset Mr. Jones, because he was very fond of all the birds.
Not long after, the quail that lost his mate did something most unusual. Mr. Jones kept a stone statue of a pelican on the front porch by the screen door. He and his wife sometimes used it to prop open the door. The pelican's long beak was tucked down against its chest, and the statue was just about the same size as a quail. The lonely quail found the pelican and spent all his time on the porch cooing and clucking to the statue. In his heartbreak over losing his mate, the quail chose the stone pelican to be his companion. When other male quails got too close, he would run off the porch and chase them away, just as he would if he had a live mate.
Poor lonely bird! You would think he should have recognized the difference between a statue and a living bird. When God created quails, He designed them in such a way that they need the company of other quails.
When God created people, He gave them a never-dying soul that can only be truly happy when they come to know and love Him. Of all the earthly ceratures God made, man is the only one with a heart that is capable of loving God. This makes all mankind very privileged and responsible to their Maker. But how sorrowful it is that instead of loving our Creator, you and I have chosen to leave Him out of our lives, and we've filled our hearts and lives with things that can never fully satisfy! There is a cost for giving the first place in our hearts to anything but God. The Bible speaks of men's foolish hearts being darkened when they love and focus on what this world offers more than they love God. In the darkness that men choose for themselves, they always stumble into the paths of sin and shame.
To bring sinners back to Himself, God sent His Son Jesus into the world: "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)). The Lord Jesus came to this earth in love and died for sinners who have wandered far away from Him. He is God's love gift to the world. When a sinner realizes his lost condition and believes on the Lord Jesus, God gives him the gift of eternal life. This is love beyond what we can understand-love worthy of God whose grace and mercy is far greater than all our sins. The same love that brought the Lord Jesus into the world nearly two thousand years ago is reaching out to sinners today, inviting you and me to turn to the Savior. If you refuse His loving offer, you will die unsaved and spend eternity in hell, but you will never die unloved. Why not accept God's love that is greater than any other and receive the gift of His Son Jesus today?
After spending some days with the stone pelican, the quail left the lifeless statue and scampered off. Mr. Jones thinks he saw the same quail several days later, strutting about with a new mate, but he can't be quite sure. How long will it be before you realize that God is so worthy of your love and trust and you turn to the Savior?
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)). "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:1515Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)).