Some days bring inspiration and enlightenment. Some days are just days.
This morning is both.
Psalm 118 is an interesting look into the emotions of a man pressed with moving forward. Competitive forces impinge on his hopes and progress. People on whom he has depended have walked away. Yet, he presses forward with supreme confidence in the guidance of a merciful God.
Mistakes happen. God offers grace and mercy.
Slips cause bruises. God puts us in broad places with better footing.
Competitors slice away at our favor with others in our space. God gives us favor and allows them to see our good points.
Next steps become cloudy. God brings light and insight so we can see the way.
After all of this, we have the opportunity to engage in abandoning our confidence in ourselves and embracing confidence in God.
Now, we throw ourselves into His merciful future, believing He will take what He has shown us and cause it to work greater on our behalf.
One of my favorite places of prayer is at Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. Nestled in the woods, I keep an acre with a small house. It is in the woods, not next to the woods. All around are the woods. That is a blessing for me, because I find myself embedded in the natural setting. Most days the birds and animals have ownership. They let me visit and treat me like family.
This morning while reading and praying, the birds gave me some instructions on life. They of course are skittish to my movement. When I am still and quiet, they happily go about their business feeding and even walking about on the ground some 20-30 feet from my perch. Rustling and movement will send them high into the trees.
The two flocks that were feeding this morning were different. One loved the feeder and the other loved pecking the dropped kernels from the ground. Each had a different queuing system and tolerance for me. It was a joy to watch how they moved from tree to perch to feeder orderly. Periodically, one would become impatient for a friend to finish feeding. The feeder was crowded. The impatient one would fly at a perch and hope the station would open. Some even pushed others away, but not often. The ground birds waited further out on the ground and walked in much the same way.
Birds do not question God’s provision. At least, there are no questions to my observation. They just do what they do. Never has one knocked on my door, pounded a window, or sent me an email asking when I will arrive with feed. They just come when I am here and when I am not and take what is available.
Birds have a system. Protocol is there, though not always abided. They do exhibit options. Some are more assertive than others are in the same flock. They have character.
God, grant me birdlike faith. Let me find my way among the friends around me both like and unlike me. Let me run with confidence that provision will follow activity with character. And let me remember there is mercy. There will always be kernels on the ground, when I can’t get to the high feeder. Someone will move away and let me in, even if I have to get a little feisty.