By Brenda Black
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
I know this. I believe this. But then I look at creation and I worry for the birds of the air. In the midst of a storm, how in the world does a chickadee cling to bending branches with thread thin claws and miniscule talons? How come the killdeer is not extinct since she lays her eggs in the road where gigantic, racing tires can crush them? And why would a wild turkey place her nest so easily accessible to passing coyotes? I wonder, and worry I suppose, how does creation continue in a world full of violent storms, man-made hazards and natural enemies. Then, I have to admit, maybe I don't give enough credit to One who orders this world and supervises it.
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, or the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4-9)
God is in control!
Whew! That's a huge relief...if I truly believe. And that, my friends, is a daily struggle – to turn it over to Him. To trust He will do what is best. To surrender my anxieties to the One who calms the sea and feeds the hungry. I have a tendency to worry much. I fret for myself and for others. I lose sleep thinking about things far beyond my control. It is folly and foolishness. It is faithlessness and futility.
So today when I stumbled upon something I've never before seen, I found myself instantly exhilarated and just as suddenly anxious. She flew up right before my eyes and departed, but left me looking downward as I gazed on a wild turkey nest brimming with prospects. I've never lost my child-like wonder for all creatures great and small. There I stood amazed and tickled to see the pale cream and brown speckled evidence of a good spring. I counted the clutch without touch to a total of ten.
Then with dismay, I spied one, two and a third crushed shell carried near and far from the safety of her lair. The contents licked clean, no doubt had satisfied some scavenger. Immediately, I started to worry – over something of which I have absolutely no control. God made the turkey, she made the nest, those are her eggs and responsibility. He also made the critter those turkey eggs fed. Life is not so much a mystery novel as it is a book of facts. I walked away, but not unscathed. For it made me think just how much we assume life is safe. It is not!
Solomon spelled it out in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. “I also thought, 'As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal.'” (Ecc. 3:18-19a)
Though Solomon concludes that “Everything is meaningless,” I contend that it gives even greater meaning to life. Life is precious and short and uncertain. It is priceless. Life is beautiful and dangerous and exciting. It is limited. There are no guarantees, only opportunities.
Are you a brave little chickadee, weathering storms in life? Are you a killdeer living on the edge and taking unnecessary chances? Are you a turkey who's just doing your best to protect your nest and sometimes losing the battle? Whatever feather you wear at the moment, I pray you are filled with more faith than fear to endure it. And I pray that you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. That's our only safety.
2012 copyright by Brenda Black, The Word's Out