This morning I was watching an Australian Minor bird on our back porch. There is a pergola out back where I sit in the mornings, and he often flutters about jumping from rafter to rafter under its roof. He is always alone and he is very intriguing to observe. While the magpies mooch around on the grass looking for a meal amongst the grass and dirt, this little fella is up in the rafters looking for a meal, only he seems to go for the insects that are caught in the spider webs under the roof.
When I first started watching him I thought how on earth does he do that? How does he get his beak inside all the web and not get stuck? There are so many trees around here and that means many, many spider webs. And the roof of the pergola is a pitched roof, you know, a triangle shape. So in order to get right up to where the spiders have tucked away their meals by way of beetles, moths and other insects, he actually has to flutter in mid-air sometimes. Other times he’s getting in tight corners from rafters and getting his bright yellow beak right in the corners to extract the insects from all the sticky web.
I watched him today as he snatched a live insect from inside one of the webs. I marvelled at how clever and quick he was to do that. Then I saw him do a very clever thing. He landed on a rafter and proceeded to wipe his yellow beak across one side of the rafter, and then the other side. He did this over and over, like a chef sharpening his knife on a strap. Of-course this little guy wasn’t sharpening his beak, he was cleaning it from the web.
As I watched this, I asked “Lord, what can I see of You in this?” And the thought gradually came to me about the ‘treasures found inside of sticky situations’. Wow. How cool is that?
This little feathered friend isn’t afraid of sticky situations. He actually embraces them! He instinctively knows that within those very sticky situations are something of great worth. And he’s prepared to go in there, boots and all, and alone if he has to, to take that treasure that is on offer. But he has to go through a fair bit of yucky stuff to get it. He’s not afraid or put off by the obstacles or the threat of getting his yellow beak glued shut! He goes in, grabs the meal and proceeds to wipe his beak clear of the sticky web. Done and dusted!
So, are we like this? Do we see a hidden treasure inside a sticky situation? Do we recognise that inside some of the difficulties (if not all of them) that we face, there is something of great value to be had ? It might be a lesson learned, a blessing, a reward greater than we could have imagined, something the Lord really wants for us. And if we do recognise the opportunity inside that sticky situation do we go in boots and all, with full confidence and faith to get it or do we stand back and avoid it because of the risks?
Prior to this little guys’ visit this morning, I was meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads;
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
I can see what the Lord was saying to me in the correlation between the minor bird and the scripture. If I lean on my own understanding, I’ll avoid the sticky situation. But if I acknowledge Him in ALL my ways, He will make my path straight. He’ll cause my life to succeed according to His plan and purpose in my life and to His glory. I will find great joy and pleasure inside the situation. But I am to trust in Him with ALL my heart. I’m to face the sticky situations and trust that He’s got my back. I’m to ignore my own wisdom, which is no wisdom at all, and trust fully in Him. And as a result, I will find great reward in knowing Him more.
I also see this as a lesson in relation to the call of God to all His people. Paul was faithful to the heavenly vision God gave Him when Jesus revealed Himself to him on the road to Damascus and revealed His oneness with His body, the church.
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord? Saul asked. “(I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”… Acts 9:4-5.
When Paul met Jesus after He had ascended to the Father, Paul was blinded and forever changed. He never looked back. He went through many a sticky situation being faithful to the vision He’d been given. And we are all called to be the same, to have that one-eyed devotion to the Lord’s purpose. The Lord is our true food and is worth going in and after, regardless of the obstacles and difficulties that we might have to endure in order to be faithful to Him and His purpose.
I was never very fussed on Australian Minor birds before. They’re noisy and they dominate the bird life at times, and they’re not particularly attractive in my opinion. I suppose they’re more like me than I imagined. I’m quite fond of them after this encounter this morning. 🙂
Lord, teach us Your ways that we might walk with You and know You more. Give us courage to trust You when we face a sticky situation, to believe Your promises to us that You will make our paths straight if we acknowledge You in all our ways and trust in You with all our heart.