Two Black Birds

Outside our kitchen window sits a small faded blue birdhouse.  Two little birds have decided to call it home.  With much anticipation, we watched these two birds gather twigs, straw, strings, and feathers to build their nest.

One day, three black birds perched themselves on a branch overlooking the faded blue birdhouse and watched these two small birds gather their material and build their nest.

No sooner had the two little birds gotten their nest built the black birds swooped in, chased the two birds away then took turns sticking their heads into the entrance of the birdhouse, grabbing pieces of the nest, pulling it out, and throwing it on the ground.  All of the hard work the two little birds had accomplished had been easily destroyed.

For two weeks I watched the little birds rebuild their nest only to have the black birds swoop in and destroy it.  My heart ached for these two little birds.  I decided the two little birds needed my help.  It began with a simple tap, tap, tap on the window to scare the black birds away.

After a few days the black birds figured out that my tapping really didn’t hurt them so they’d ignore me.  The tapping turned into pounding which would chase them to a branch overlooking the birdhouse but as soon as my back was turned they’d swoop back down, reach their head into the hole, grab a beak full of nesting material, and toss it on the ground.

In my pursuit to save these two little bird’s nest I ran out onto the deck, my arms fwalling in the air as I leaped from the second to the last stair, yelling, “Shoo!”

This act of strange behavior, only sent them to a higher branch where they looked down at me thinking, “What a sad, strange little gal.”

By the time I’d gotten inside the house, walked to the kitchen, and looked out the window at my faded blue birdhouse that these two precious little birds had claimed for their own, the black birds were back destroying their nest.

The next day the two little birds had rebuilt their home and little Momma bird sat happily on her nest.  Her little head and beak were peeking out of the hole.  I smiled, but my moment of tranquility was short lived.  The three black birds swooped down, two landed on top of the faded blue birdhouse and one landed on the perch.  Little Momma bird began to squawk as the big black bird stuck his head into the house.  Papa bird quickly flew to her aid, flapped his wings, flying around them, squawking furiously at these invaders who were committed to destroying his home.

My first instinct was to chase the black birds away, again, but I stopped and watched.  Was this part of God’s plan?  I paced the kitchen, fighting every ounce of energy to run screaming at these black birds that terrorized the little Momma and Papa bird.  I wanted so badly to help them but wondered what would happen if I always came to their rescue?   Would they learn the skills to defend themselves if I always stepped in?

The squawking continued and I couldn’t handle it any more, I had to intercede.  I ran to the gun cabinet, grabbed the air rifle and shot in the vicinity of the three black birds, scaring them away.  I thought, if nothing else, I had given Momma and Papa bird a few hours to rest and regroup.

Do you ever feel like these two little birds?  You just get your faith built up and the enemy swoops in and begins to tear it down?  The enemy picks at it, slowly, piece by piece, throwing it effortlessly to the ground.

I can see Jesus in heaven, His hands clasped behind His back as He paces before the throne of God.  He stops and looks at His Father, pleading our case, “Can’t you see they need My help?  The enemies are slowly tearing away their faith?  Let Me go down and help.”

God gently reaches out His mighty hand, resting on Jesus’ shoulder.  “Sometimes, my Son, We must let the enemy attack so that their faith will be strengthened.  They have the Holy Spirit and if they use their armor correctly they will win the fight.”

Jesus hesitantly nods, wanting to come to our defense but knows His Father is right.

Jesus watches us for a few more days then goes before the throne, again, “Father, the enemy is not letting up.  They are fighting with everything they have but it’s not helping.”

God looks down at us then at His son.  He gives Jesus a single nod.

Jesus smiles.  He raises His mighty arms and is instantly surrounded by legions of angels.  “Go,” He commands them and the angels descend downward to our defense, attacking our enemies, scattering them, allowing us rest and a time to regroup so we can be prepared to fight the next battle.

When you feel as if the enemy is slowly destroying you, have faith because Christ Jesus, who died- more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Romans 8:34 NIV

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The Rock

I stood on the playground today at the preschool with some of the 4 years olds soaking in the beautiful sun.  I watched one of the boys pick up a rock the size of his hand and throw it.

I yelled, “Zeke.” (name changed)

I didn’t have to say anything else because he knew he had done something wrong.

He walked towards me and I said, “You need to go sit in a time out.  You know we don’t ever throw rocks.”

He went and sat down, his eyes turning red, trying not to cry.  I found it unusual that he didn’t immediately try and explain his actions or blame someone else.  He just held in the tears and sat.

After a couple of minutes he said, “Well he,” pointing, “did something way worser then what I did.”

With a firm face, another teacher said, “We will talk to him about what he did, this is about what you did.”

His little lips pursed together, his arms crossed and he sat, holding back the tears.

When his time was up, I turned to him and said, “You may get up now but remember, we don’t throw rocks because they could really hurt someone.”

He jumped up and immediately ran to the area where he had thrown the rock and started looking around in the grass.  I watched him.  It appeared to me that he was looking for the rock he threw.  Hmmm, I wondered how this was going to play out.

After searching for a while, his eyes widened, he bent down and picked up the rock.  I continued to watch him, wondering what he was going to do.  He held it tightly in his hand, walked to the chain link fence, pried the rock through the links in the fence, dropping it on the other side where here couldn’t get it.

The rock must’ve been so tempting that he had to get it out of his reach, out of his sight, on the other side of the fence where there was no way he could even touch it.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve picked up a rock and thrown it through the air.  As I go to my time out, I don’t want to face my own sin so I point fingers and remind God that others have done way worser things then me.  Sometimes, I get it and change but sometimes I get up from my time out and walk right back to the same rock, falling back into the same sin.

Maybe we need to do what Zeke did and throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. (Hebrews 12:1)  We may grip it tightly as we walk to the fence but let’s not be afraid to drop it over, get it out of our reach, even completely out of our sight, so that we can fix our eyes on Jesus.

Laughing Out Loud

Ever really laugh out loud?  I mean, really laugh out loud?!  The other morning I was laughing so hard I almost had tears in my eyes.  I had just dropped Lydia off at the high school and was taking Collins to his school.  I’m still driving on the High School campus and coming towards us is a maroon van.  I looked on top of the van to see a large white bag full of trash.  The man is driving 35 miles an hour with a trash bag on the top of his van.

I wasn’t laughing at him because that is sooooo something I’d do.  Well, actually, I’ve done something similar a few years ago.  When we lived in Jefferson City, I was taking Madison and Keaton to the grade school ½ mile from our house.  I set my coffee cup on top of the van to buckle the kids up in their car seats, I shut the van doors and took off, totally forgetting about my coffee.

I drove 25 mph to the school when the teacher, who was helping get kids out of the cars, hands me my cup and said, “Want a cup of coffee?”

I turned red and laughed, saying, “I wondered where that went.”

But this wasn’t a coffee cup, this was a bag of trash.  He had turned off a road with a speed limit of 45 mph, now cruising at 35 mph and there sat his bag of trash for all to see.  He eventually stopped the van, quickly climbed out, grabbed the bag, threw it into the car and drove off.

After God had given me a good laugh, he decided I should also learn a lesson from it.  All of us have driven around with a bag of trash on our vans.  For however briefly it may be, we have placed our sin out for all to see, even walked around with them in plain sight.  It could be a harsh word, a facial expression, gossip, a joke, indifference.  Sometimes we’re moving so fast we don’t even know people can see it.  But when our trash is seen, we’re embarrassed and how quickly we try to hide it.

The goal is to clean out all the trash and when we’re in glory with Jesus Himself, we will be totally cleansed of it, but until then, we must remember that we all have the potential of setting our trash out for all to see.  So, whether your trash is out and the van is moving or the trash is safely tucked inside, let’s not judge others on their trash but love people and continue to allow Christ to cleanse us all from our sins.