Battle Scars

I’ve been attacked! Yes, last night a bear got my feeders AGAIN! I do love living near the woods on the top of the mountain, and the benefits definitely outweigh the difficulties, but more than anything, I love the lessons my dear Lord keeps teaching me through these little trials! Here are just a few:

  1. LISTEN TO THE MASTER! Last night after I was all cozy and snuggled down for the night, I remembered my bird feeders and that I forgot to bring them in. Now, unbelievers and scoffers don’t get this, but I know that my heavenly Father was sending a gentle reminder my way, AND I IGNORED IT! Actually, I didn’t ignore it, I prayed that God would keep my bird feeders safe (like He has nothing else to do in these crazy times in which we are living! But, He sees the sparrows…) Well, God heard my prayer and answered, “No.”

LESSON LEARNED: When God talks, listen! He is such a gracious God and Father, but He is NOT a genie in a bottle just waiting to answer my every whim. Oh, how we need to learn this in the small lessons so that in the big ones we will do the hard things! I think of a saying that was common to my childhood: God helps those who help themselves.  Now, that is not a Bible verse but there is biblical truth in it! God is the powerhouse behind anything we accomplish for Him, but He will use us… if we will listen! YIKES!

2. LIFE IS A BATTLE This is such a crazy little example, but I feed birds.  I don’t have to, but I love the benefits of hearing them sing and gather in my yard.  I thrill at the splashes of yellow that sit in my trees and on my feeders as the Yellow Finches gather. This year’s addition was the Baltimore Orioles as I lured them in with oranges and grape jelly. How beautiful they are, and I love their call. The glory of the Cardinals and the wonder of watching Mr. bring seeds to Mrs. and feed her! The sharply dressed Rose Breasted Grosbeaks with his tuxedo of black and red. Nut Hatches, Purple Finches, Sparrows of all kinds and Bluebirds and woodpeckers.  It’s a wonder to behold! (No Indigo Buntings this year. 😦 )

LESSON LEARNED: The Christian life is worth the battle. God’s promises are without number; His mercies are new every morning; the love, joy, peace that are trademarks of a Christian’s life shout to the world of God’s goodness; the assurance of a home in heaven… need I say more? They are WORTH the battle!

3. WE DO HAVE ENEMIES! Mr. Bear feasted because of my negligence. Mr. Squirrel chewed through the plastic clamp which held my baffler in place and feasted. Mr. Blackbird and Mr. Blue Jay come and scare everyone else away and clean out the feeder in a matter of minutes.

LESSON LEARNED: Enemies come in all shapes and sizes, but they all listen to the same Evil One, and he is a master of maleficence!  He will wait until we sleep through God’s call. He will diligently gnaw away at our resolve. He was swoop in and devour our confidence, BUT HE IS A DEFEATED FOE! Just this morning, our house was surrounded by the hosts of hell. Did we see them? Gracious, no! If we did, we’d probably die of fright! But they were there, and we could feel their oppression. They were gnawing away at our sweet, heaven-on-earth homey atmosphere by stirring up confusion. They were feasting on right thinking and replacing it with wrong thoughts and conclusions. They gobbled up our hopes and vision and purpose and sowed in their place hopelessness and futility and despair. Have you been there? But, oh, the joy of fighting them off with the Word of God! As we shared our devotions, a Thursday morning habit, the tension and frustration and worry, and all Satan’s other torments were gone!! Hallelujah! Use God’s Tool Chest!

4. DISOBEDIENCE HAS CONSEQUENCES WE CANNOT CONTROL OR CHOOSE: I don’t have the scars from the bear’s claws and jaws, my feeder does!

LESSON LEARNED: This is a hard one so put on your steel-toes shoes! We cannot choose who will be scared by our lack of obedience.  I didn’t come out and bring in my feeders and now the feeder bares the scars! Others are watching our actions! Oh, dear reader, listen to God’s prompting, and do know that when a little voice tells you to do something that would please God, you can be guaranteed it’s not the voice of Satan!

5. KEEP YOUR FOCUS! Right now, in the little space of time it has taken me to write this, I’ve watched as Mr. Baltimore Oriole visited his grape-laced orange, I listened as Mr. Cardinal chirped from his perch in the tree, and I’ve enjoyed seeing several Finches come swooping in for a bite from my battle-scarred Finch feeder!

LESSON LEARNED: Keep your eyes on the blessing God has showered on you in the past and know that there are more just beyond the battle! AND, stay in the battle! It’s worth every scar!

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

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