Of Birds and Trust

We took our young grandchildren to a place called Seaquest today while our daughter was touring Liberty University with her oldest. At Seaquest, there were lots of sea animals and fish, but my favorite place there was the aviary, with all kinds of colorful and tweeting birds. These little creatures did not have to worry at all about being fed because people like us were paying tokens to be able to go in and sit with the birds and feed them. The encounter brought to mind the verse about birds and trusting God.

The birds don’t worry at all; they just trust God to provide for them, even in the winter months when all is mostly barren. Sometimes we fact a winter time in our lives and have to remember to trust in God for our provision. He always comes through, not always when or how we expect but He always provides if we trust in Him at all times. Trust is not always easy, but picture the birds and their total confidence in God during the rough times and the times of plenty. We are God’s crowning creation, so why should we worry about His provision?

My husband and granddaughters enjoying the aviary. Look at those brilliant colors on the birds! God is so creative!

May God show you how much He loves you by providing for you in all ways at all times.

All That I Need

Often in today’s world of plenty, we think that we need more than we really do. This is especially true for me when I am packing for a trip. I pack a lot of things that are “just in case” items. I was packing yesterday to go visit my sister again and counting up how many tops, pj’s, and other things I would need for almost a two week stay. Then I started counting my pills, making sure that I had enough to last me while I am there. I spent hours making sure that I have packed all that I will need. Then, a light went off in my head. What if I forget something? Will the world as we know it come to a screeching halt? No, of course not. I would just have to figure out a way to obtain the missing item from one of the hundreds of stores around there. So, problem solved and stress abated.

This morning I read my devotional and a verse just jumped off the page at me and made me chuckle at my mad hat attempt to pack yesterday and to think of everything that I might possibly ever use in the next two weeks.

Sometimes I find myself rushing around trying to solve my own problems and setting up what if scenarios to plan in advance. Meanwhile, God is in Heaven, probably amused by my frantic attempts and waiting for me to realize that He is the good shepherd and He will make sure that I have all that I need. That reassurance is calming to my spirit and like an ointment on my frantically beating heart that wants to plan everything in advance, including planning for all contingencies. God spoke to my heart this morning and told me clearly to just calm down; He will make sure that I have all that I need. As I go into spiritual battle in a household without God, I am taking Him with me, and He will make certain that I don’t lack anything, not the words I need to speak or the attitude that I need to show. He has prepared me for this trip, just as He has gotten me ready for everything else I face in life, and He wants me to know that He loves me so much that I can just let go and let Him take over. Mostly, what I need to pack is a heart full of grace and love, mercy, peace and acceptance. Now, I’m ready to go…I’m taking God’s suitcase of promises with me and I’m ready!

No matter what today brings, remember that in Christ, you lack nothing. Have a blessed day filled with the Lord and the knowledge of His great love for you.

Eternity and God’s Provision

I love that this Scripture verse says that God, our Creator, has put eternity into our hearts. Of course, our human hearts will one day stop and out body that it supports and keeps alive will die here on earth. But the heart that we have that is attached to God is also attached to eternity, the Heavenly home that He has prepared for us and where we will always be with the Lord. It is a great mystery what God has done, most likely because our finite minds cannot fathom the works of an infinite God.

I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving that God always provides just what we need when we need it. Just as He provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, He provides for us. And when they reached the Promised Land and could eat from the abundance there, the manna no longer appeared daily for the Israelites to pick up and eat. God knows what He is doing even when we don’t always understand it!

Have a blessed and wonderful day, always remembering that you are a child of the King!

Learning From an Infant

Those of you who follow my blog regularly already know that I spent three months in Maryland taking care of grandchildren while our son dealt with a childcare dilemma. I was a little leery to take on the responsibility because of my age and physical limitations, but I tackled the job, knowing that if God called me to do it, He would provide a way for me to be strong enough to fulfill the task. Well, my time in Maryland is done as I returned home on January 31st, tired and emotional about missing the children with whom I had bonded so well and completely. My time in Maryland taught me so many things about life in general and relationships, but mostly, I learned a great deal from my newest grandson.

Seven month old Nathan Henry

Nathan is accustomed to being held as he naps, so I happily assumed that duty. Cuddles became my specialty and I spent a lot of time soothing, singing and rocking gently. As I did, I learned some life lessons that I believe are reasons that God tells us to come to Jesus as little children do.

First, Nathan was totally dependent on his caregivers for his food, shelter, warmth, changes of clothing, etc. He cried when he needed something and did not think that it was being too demanding to have his needs met. That, my friends, is how we are supposed to come to God. I’m not saying to demand or to cry, but, like little Nathan, to voice our needs and to know without a doubt that someone will meet them.

Every day, as I held him closely in my arms, Nathan looked at me with such total trust in his eyes. He had no idea that a fragile septuagenarian was holding him and could have dropped him. He just knew that I had held him daily and he trusted me to continue to do so. That is how we are to approach God’s throne, with complete trust in His ability to handle whatever we lay before Him.

There were days when Nathan was cranky, continuing to fuss even after all of my “nanna tricks” had been employed. So, one day, I decided to quietly sing to him the old song from Sunday school, “Jesus Loves You.” (Yes, I know it’s supposed to be “Jesus Loves Me” but I changed it for Nathan.) He got immediately quiet, listened to the entire song and quickly fell asleep. My guess is that he recently left the realm of Heaven to come down to earth and recognized Jesus’s Name. The peace that settled over him each time I sang that song was a wonder to behold and it never failed to bring that same peace. Learning that the Name of Jesus brings instant peace to an infant brought me peace many times when I was feeling homesick or lonely for friends and church family. I just focused on the look in Nathan’s eyes and realized that the same peace he felt when he heard the name of Jesus was mine, too.

One of the major joys of taking care of an infant is knowing that when they see or try new things, it’s for the very first time. The delight that shone in Nathan’s eyes and that lit up his face gave me hope for a future because there are always new things to be discovered. The first time he tried to scoot across the floor, he was trying to chase my cane, an activity he never tired of. I would move the cane and he would joyfully lift himself up and try to reach it, touching its smooth surface repeatedly until I moved it again. He progressed to scooting across the floor to reach for toys, gurgling happily when he got them. I always stayed right next to him because at any time he could decide to unexpectedly roll over and thump his head. So, I was there to provide the cushion he needed until he could figure out how to roll gently. Isn’t that what God does for us? He provides cushions when we need them until we learn how to better take care of ourselves.

It was my real joy and pleasure to take care of my son’s greatest treasures. I learned what it was like to receive unconditional love, without doing much of anything for it. Gentle caresses, story time, play time, bottle time, everything was a source of wonder and a reminder of how very much God loves and nurtures us until we can do things on our own. I will always cherish the time with these three special children. I must say that I learned the most from Nathan because I spent the most time with him. But I also learned from Penny how to be a peacemaker and a caring and compassionate big sister. No matter how tired she was from her long day at school, Penny always had a hug and a smile for baby Nathan. From fiery, red-headed Evie, I learned what it is to be mischievous and yet to continue to expect love and acceptance. Evie and I had an understanding at bedtime each night. She didn’t always want a hug or kiss. Sometimes, she just wanted to do a quick hug, more like a tag on my leg, but I allowed her the choice for how to say goodnight each evening. She seemed to enjoy keeping me in suspense about how we would say goodnight and then grinned broadly if she knew that she surprised me with her new method. God has a sense of humor, too, and I’m sure He enjoyed the creativity and compassion of the two girls as much as I did.

Penny, Evie and Nanna on Christmas Day, 2021

I will leave you with these parting words. When next you have the opportunity to spend time with children, really spend time with them. See them as valuable gifts from God and learn from them how much God loves each of us. He loves me enough to allow me the privilege of taking care of grandchildren for three months, memorable months that are etched in my memory forever, to be cherished in my heart. Then, I hope that you remember to come to the Lord as a child does, with total trust and complete faith in His ability and desire to meet your needs.

God bless you for reading and being a part of my blog family! Have a wonderful day!