I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee, its hefty aroma calling to me from an ocean of deep thoughts. With cup in hand, I stepped into the quiet of my front porch. Poppy red clusters of geraniums winked at me from their earthen bed. I settled into my favorite rocking chair and tried to relax in the presence of the tall, graceful stems of lavender swaying gently in the breeze. The rhythm of the familiar squeaking chair fought to settle my spirit.
I felt exhaustion from waging battle against life’s hardships, my light had dimmed. Thoughts quarreled with the faithfulness of God. My spirit reminded me of my blessings. My Bible shouted out reminders of God’s promises, but my weary spirit struggled desperately to walk in that reality.
Lord, forgive me for being so frustrated. I feel angry that life has to be so hard! Where is Your hand of provision? I miss the joy of my salvation. I pouted as I slung accusation after accusation at my Heavenly Father. When my tirade ended I sat quietly and took another sip of coffee.
A flash of gray raced past me and leaped onto the base of the wrought-iron pole standing in the midst of the lavender and geraniums. There, my bird feeder with all its deliciousness hung about four feet off the ground, secured by the shepherd’s hook at the end of the pole. Catching his breath, a young squirrel glanced in my direction. Excitement was written all over his face.
Four tiny paws gripped the slender pole. His furry tail twitched uncontrollably as his head bobbed back and forth. With sheer determination the squirrel inched his way upward towards his prize. When he got parallel to the feeder he S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D across to the perch so he could dig into the morsels of goodness. Watching his can-do attitude was funny enough, but then the wind began to blow.
Blowing wind begets spinning bird feeders.
Spinning bird feeders beget spinning squirrels.
Sipping my coffee, I realized the squirrel had a choice to make: either let go of his prize, fall to the ground and start over OR grab hold and hang on with all his might until the wind passed by.
He chose the prize.
The squirrel’s back paws swung over to the base of the bird feeder. Hanging upside down, he held on with all fours as though his life depended on it. His little body spun and twirled, eyes wild with excitement. A bushy, gray tail twitched in rhythm to the swinging feeder. There was no way this little guy was going to let go of his prize and no wind or difficulty was going to get in his way. He simply held on tight, kept his eyes on the prize and waited for things to calm down. Eventually, the stiff wind ended. Very matter-of-factly, the squirrel S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D his back paws across the great divide until he reached the pole again, gripped it tightly and resumed indulging himself with those delectable morsels of goodness.
I knew this was a God-moment.
Rocking back and forth, I pondered the lesson the Lord was showing me. I remembered the scriptures teaching that in a race only one person can win the prize. God wants us to run in such a way that we win. I so want to win the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. I want to rest in His presence, walk in His provision and enjoy the blessings of discipleship. Like the squirrel, I want every little morsel of goodness I can grab, no matter how difficult.
Even though for a season, I feel like I’m spinning upside down, holding onto God’s promises with all fours, I know that if I can persevere and keep my eyes on the prize, the wind will calm down, the spinning cease and I can indulge myself once again with the goodness of God.