Cormorant. Image by sharkolot from Pixabay

Pity the poor cormorant.

This ungainly waterfowl is never at the top of anyone’s list of favourite birds.

It looks almost prehistoric, with its matte black feathers and strongly hooked bill. It lacks the beauty of a brightly coloured cardinal or the elegance of a swan.

The cormorant sits unusually low in the water, as though it’s about to sink. And because its wing feathers aren’t waterproof like those of other waterfowl, it needs to stand for long periods with wings outstretched, drying its feathers out in the sun.

It’s clumsy on land, and must expend more energy flying than other birds.

Nothing seems quite right about the cormorant.

Did God make a mistake when he fashioned them?

Not at all!

The cormorant’s lack of waterproofing actually plays to its advantage. Its waterlogged feathers make it less buoyant than ducks, enabling it to dive deeper in search of fish to eat.

Cormorants are excellent divers, agile and swift, with some species being able to dive to an astounding 150 feet.

So its “deficiencies” aren’t actually a bug, but rather a feature.

Do you ever feel like you’re not as good at things as other people? Do you feel as though you simply don’t measure up?

Rest assured, God didn’t make a mistake when he made you.

He gave you qualities and skills that make you unique. Even the attributes you think of as unwelcome may give you an advantage in another area.

Does it take you longer to do things than other people? Don’t worry: your thoroughness and attention to detail help ensure that things are done correctly.

Maybe you have needs that require you to take extra measures when completing a task. You might wish you could do things in a simpler way, like other people. But you are no less valuable in God’s eyes just because you have to “dry off your feathers.”

Or perhaps you’re highly sensitive, and need extra time to process your thoughts. This is actually a positive: you can “dive deeper” than others when you analyze situations.

Cormorant drying off its feathers. Image by diapicard from Pixabay

You might feel like you don’t fit in, that your traits are misunderstood by others. You might have even experienced criticism for the way you need to do things.

But God doesn’t see you that way: He sees you as his creation, a person of value who reflects his glory. You are one of his wondrous works!

You can rest in your Heavenly Father’s love and know that you don’t need to be anything other than what he fashioned you to be. He gave you special traits and the ability to reach people and do things that no one else can do in quite the same way.

And what about our friend the cormorant?

It gave its name to a fleet of search-and-rescue helicopters with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Not too shabby, for an underappreciated bird!

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

psalm 139:14

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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