A Bird, a Horse and Psalm 23
For several weeks this spring, a beautiful little red bird pecked on one of our windows every morning. This lasted several hours each day. Sometimes he flew into the window trying to get inside. I do not know if he saw his reflection and thought it was another beautiful bird or what his reasoning was since I am certainly not a “bird-ologist”. However, he was very persistent about trying to get inside the house. I was amazed at how he had everything he needed outside – beautiful trees, sunshine, fresh air, bugs and worms, even a bird bath and bird feeder with seeds, and other birds of various species. But every morning there he was – peck, peck, pecking away – intent on getting inside where none of those things were available. On the opposite end, but similar in many ways, I have a horse which was seriously injured several weeks ago when she got her hoof caught in a hay bin and cut a large hole in her leg to the bone. We have treated and treated it and finally there is just a small area of healing needed. She has been in a small pen so she could get the treatment she needed and hopefully not reinjure her leg. She is now ready to go back to the pasture full of luscious green grass and a few other gentle horses. When I tried to catch her to move her, she refused to be caught. She ran through mud holes and would not allow me to put a halter on her.
Both of these situations spoke to me about how we as Christians, or certainly I am so like the bird and the horse. Either I think that what I want or where I want to be in life is so much better than what God has already provided. Or like the horse, I choose to stay in the mud, refusing God’s “halter” because I think He is trying to limit my freedoms, when what He actually wants to do is gently lead me to green pastures, beside still waters, and restore my soul. Like the bird, I may see what I think is best for me, although it is only a reflection of myself, my selfish desires, my insecurities, and my lack of faith. God has me where He knows is His best place for me. It may be a place of service, forgiveness, surrender or simply trusting Him. And although there are dangers, disappointments, enemies, and perils in that place, just as the outside has dangers for the bird, He goes with me through those dark valleys, He comforts me, He prepares a table before me and welcomes me as His guest, and my blessings overflow. So, no matter if we are already where God wants us or if He is attempting to lead us to a better place in life that we cannot see, His good and faithful love will pursue us every day of our life on earth and in heaven throughout eternity. Perhaps this is what Job had in mind when He said “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the sky, and they will tell you;” Job 12:7.