Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Catching Secrets

Update January 25, 2009

If we are watching, inspiration is often just a glance away. If we quiet ourselves for even a short time, trust can find us and fill us with a hope that is not from earthly provision. And it fills us up with an overflow of the goodness and wonder of God. Throughout the long illness, we felt it in our home. We did not understand it, but we all felt it and drew courage from it. And we marveled and wondered through our tears. We found strength in the beauty of a night sky or a blooming flower as well as fervent prayers. Together, we moved through the seasons with the long illness and every step there was symbolic and real provision.

Real provision was demonstrated on the golf course yesterday. Two birds, entirely different, each in their own habitat, inspired my thoughts (if only Nature could inspire my swing). As the four of us played our round, there were these brief, silent pauses just to gaze at them. One was a beautiful blue-gray heron, almost camouflaged by the gray of the bare trees, perched at the edge of the lake, watching for the moment food would appear – still, quiet, watching, and waiting. The other was a giant hawk peering down from a high vantage point of a pine tree, waiting for us to move on so his own still, quiet, watching and waiting could continue without human disturbance. Each bird, so wondrously fitted for their place in the world, so different in shape and size, both waiting on provision, instinctively trusting that they were in the right spot for survival.

Oh, that we could be that quiet and confident. We flit around, change positions, and alter our surroundings, neglect duties and end up lost and confused – and still hungry for something that our efforts just don’t seem to satisfy. And being blessed with the power to reason, we take it to the extreme with worry and stress, thinking that everything is dependent on our own ability. Hope and trust vanish. We forget that we, too, were created by the same authority that created the hawk and the heron, with a plan and a purpose for our lives.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” And so then I guess we have to ask ourselves if we feel “valuable” in the eyes of God. Do we understand we have a heavenly father who loves us? Oswald Chambers says that “at the beginning of a Christian life, we are full of requests to God (I have made my share of those!). But then we find that God wants to get us into an intimate relationship with Himself – to get us in touch with His purposes. Are we so intimately united to Jesus’ idea of prayer – “Thy will be done” that we catch the secrets of God? What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us – He knows every detail of each of our individual lives.”

I think one of the “secrets of God” we caught through the long illness is that we can count on Him in the tiniest of things for provision. It might be through a favorite book reread with new insight; it might be through a new friendship found, or something as simple as catching a glimpse of a bird doing what it does naturally. We are covered everyday with secrets. They are ours for the catching.

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