Monday, September 07, 2009

Little Squirrel Came to Visit.. A teaching moment in my Backyard.

Well today was a lesson in life or death that I didn’t expect. And one with a very important lesson I never anticipated. This morning I was photographing the crochet hats I make. I thought I would try to sell some on etsy in My Wild Side store.

Part 1:

When I walked out the door on my deck I saw the old black and white cat sitting there. He is always out there someplace so I didn’t think too much of it. I noticed that all the bird baths were empty so I set my photo equipment down and went back into the house and came out to fill up the bird bath I keep on the porch.

Then I set to work photographing the first hat. When I was setting up the second hat something brushed past my leg. I looked down thinking it was the cat but nothing was there. I looked around and that cat was sitting in the bushes at the fence line. So I thought I dropped a hat. I looked down under the table and sitting there looking at me was a little baby squirrel.
I have seen them that small before. But I was concerned that he was a bit overly friendly and not fearful of me at all. He went over to the water. Then came over to me. Sometimes he would jump at me like he was playing with me. Then he would lay down on the deck and rest. We had a grand conversation. I wondered about his mother. This was her second litter this summer. She lived in the tree next to my deck. Sometimes she and her husband would leave me partially eaten walnuts on the deck rails.
I went into the house several times while he was there. I brought out a hand full of bird seed and put it there. He didn’t eat it. He just kept trying to get me to pick him up. I didn’t. He went over to the hose and would crawl in and out of it like he was playing. After a while finally he went over to the hose and started nursing it. That’s when I knew we were in trouble.

I told him to wait right there I would go get something for him to eat. I went in the house and since I haven’t a clue what baby squirrels eat, I thought maybe sugar water would be the safest until I could get him to a vet. When I came out of the house this time he had gone down off the deck and back to the tree. I put the plate down and slipped on my shoes. Instead of coming back to me he had given up on me as a food source and was considering his options. He could see the cat sitting there. He started over to the brush near the cat. The cat saw him. I shouted no . But the cat was being a cat. And by the time I got there it was too late. Bummer.
Part 2: The Lesson
So here is the lesson. In desperate times we search out help. We search out what we need to survive. Finally in the end we come to God. But the trouble is we get impatient. We want to take short cuts because we are afraid and desperate. We have no communication skills mostly because we haven’t been taught them.

I have a feeling that that little squirrel knew that I was a food source because probably in his mother’s squirrel way she had let him know. For two season’s now I had been providing food for that family including the little squirrel's spring sibling. Maybe she said “if you get hungry because we’ re gone too long go to the lady at the wood and flowers” or something like that .

Haven’t you heard your grandparents and sometimes your parents say it.. all nonchalant, like you aren’t going to use it really.. but just in case. They say “go to God”.
So they go to God when things get tough. They have never had a relationship with him. Never learned what he likes or dislikes; they just demand help, like little squirrels jumping at my legs “shouting feed me now “ in squirrel language.
I actually did everything I was capable of and in my power to help that little squirrel. However, the little squirrel being a wild thing had free choice. And because there were certain barriers to our communication such as him, not knowing how to communicate with me and me not being fluent in squrriel. He didnt know that I was not abandoning him. Had he understood that I was coming back and bringing him what he needed, he would have waited. He made the decision to not wait on me to bring him what he need. And then he went looking in the wrong place at the right time and came to the wrong end.
That’s what we do. Many of us have never been taught to wait on God. We have not been taught to understand him, we have not been taught to rest, we have not been taught to trust. And we have not been taught to hear his voice. We go in, demand what we want without having any sort of relationship or friendship with him and then we get impatient for him to act on our behalf. If he doesn’t move when we want him to, we just do it for him. And then we blame him because the desired outcome isn’t what we wanted. We always have really good excuses too. We go to God and get scared and don’t trust and then bam!
God ‘s word says they who wait upon the Lord shall rise up on wings, like eagles … rest in the Lord and wait for him to act, trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding… God even knows the little sparrow and what he needs, he knows the lilies of the field.. he dresses them.. and he has said we are more important and more loved than one of these.

In the coming years, maybe even days, some of us are going face some very difficult things. We might be in a position that we don’t have resources for food, companionship, housing, family, medical care. If we do not learn how to trust God when we have these things, we will become prey for those who would devour and enslave us.

Those who do not learn to trust God will become like Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of porridge because he was too weary to make it himself. He made a deal for his own comfort and sold himself in to a life of hardship. For some it will be death.
God loves us and wants us to come to him. He wants us to know him, to have relationship with him, so that when he speaks we can understand. So we know his promises to provide and return and can rest in those promises while we wait. When the waiting time is over, we will know it and be obedient to act because we know his voice.

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Linda L Martin©2009 All electronic and world rights reserved.


Handsworth Wood Christian Fellowship said...

Linda this is spot on. That verse, those who wait on the Lord will rise up on wings like eagles has come up 3 times in 36 hours!
Also Jeremiah 29:11 is a signature verse for me - it tends to pop up when God's trying to grab my attention.
I've found this thought both challenging & encouraging, not least because a major project we've been trying to get the church to back has just fallen through this weekend.
At least part of the problem was that people weren't willing or didn't know how to listen to God.
Could I have your permission to copy this & hand it out at church (with appropriate credits of course)m


Kathleen said...

Well said! I love Jer. 29:11 =)

LLMartin said...

Lynda, we had the same problem at our church a few years ago. People were prayerless and trying to do the work of God instead of learning to hear his voice and waiting on him. It scary.

Yes of course you may use it. Just keep the copyright on it so they know where it was first published. I dont know why that is important but it is for some reason. Linda

LLMartin said...

Kathleen, I have to tell you somthing funny that happened this afternoon regarding that verse.

I couldnt find it. Not in my Bible nor on Bible gate way no place. I mean its a verse I am very familure with. I just couldn't remember where it was in Jeremiah.

So I prayed "God' where is the verse. I cant find it." Well the phone rang. I had to go to the other room to answer it. After I answered the call and hung up I returned to my desk. I looked down at my open Bible and there it was, open to the page, the only thing marked: Jeremiah 29:11 LOL

I love days like this where I am aware that God is all over everything =0)

Kathleen said...

Amen, Linda!