When your house is a mess,
the kids are sick,
there is nothing to eat in the fridge,
it’s raining and hot out and your AC stops working?
Maybe you struggled to get up in the morning to go to that job of yours that drives you insane but it pays the bills so you just suck it up.
Perhaps you’ve just been told that you have some incurable disease and you feel that you hate the notion of what your life represents. You wish you were in another place and you blame yourself, your parents or even God for your misfortune.
Ever been there?
When the tears keep coming and nothing your husband or wife or friend can say makes you feel better.
When you smile through the burial of one of your parents just because you can’t afford to lose it in front of the kids and let your soul grieve. So you end up angry and bitter in the end because you were never allowed to slow down and soak it all in.
Maybe you’ve buried tiny hands and feet and you still can’t understand why a loving God would allow such pain.
Perhaps all the beautiful Falls of your life have been replaced by bitter Winters.
So where do we go, what do we do, how do we live when life doesn’t seem to make much sense?
When our days seem to be mechanically operated and there seems to be no joy, peace or solace.
I like to look at the small things like the little bird that’s in the picture above. That bird taught me such a big lesson about life and our creator’s love for us.
Little did he know that we would be his lifeline……
My husband suddenly stops the car and he gets out to find a newborn mockingbird just inches away from his truck’s tire. As soon as he saw my husband he started to open up his beak and beg for food.
Marley, as we named him later, had fallen out of a 30-foot tree nest and was on the road. He had missed getting run over and was now in my husband’s shirt pocket coming to his new home.
I was expecting baby # 3 and was home at the time on bed rest with our youngest.
The door burst open and all I could hear where screeches and weird birdlike noises. “What on earth is going on in my living room?”
I slowly came out of bed to find my husband frantically looking for an old shirt or a piece of cloth. He then handed me the bird and said, “Here, take care of him I have to leave but will be back soon.”
During the same time that we had this new baby bird in our house, my husband’s illness got worse and we were forced to be in and out of the hospital and in and out of doctor appointments. Also, I had been experiencing weird and debilitating health issues while at work and one day I started having early contractions which resulted in me being put on bed rest. I was also in and out of hospital and doctor visits myself. Crazy times but in all of this, little Marley still needed to be taken care of.
Interesting creatures these mockingbirds.
During the first few weeks of life, they need to be fed about every 15 minutes and if you don’t well, the entire house will know, kind of like a newborn baby. So with all the madness going on we were waking up all hours of the night and feeding Marley. Cleaning up his poop-filled box and tucking him into his straw and blankie.
We had to take Marley to doctor appointments, the store, the hospital, school, and anywhere we were planning on spending more than 15 to 30 minutes.
It was an interesting couple of months with this little demanding creature.
He did not know he was going to fall out of his nest and never see his mom and dad again. He did not know if he was going to be found by reckless kids who would toss him in the lake or be found by a loving family.
Yet he did what he knew best. He opened his beak when he was hungry and as he grew older he cleaned his feathers and started to respond to my whistling. We all taught him how to open his wings and exercise them so he could one day fly away. He even got introduced to our mischievous black lab, Milo who until Marley came along enjoyed terrorizing all of the birds in our back yard.
Marley taught me about hardship and trust.
He reminded me that when it rains and pours and you get soaking wet you can either freak out and be in a bad mood or you can dance and savor the taste of the rain.
Either way, you will still be wet, the only thing that changes is your attitude. You can be wet and miserable or wet and dancing!
God sent that little bird to us so we could care for it and in doing so we could see how closely our life resembles that little bird. He also was preparing us for a very challenging and demanding little baby.
We don’t know if tomorrow we are going to fall into debt or fall sick of fall into a circumstance we can’t control.
We have no say in the things that are tossed to us or taken away from us.
Marley just opened his beak and asked when he was hungry and he trusted that his bird whining would get him a worm.
That reminded me of prayer.
Our lives can be falling apart and we only open our mouths to complain at times; when we should be opening them to ask God for help. To ask for His spiritual manna to rain down from heaven.
We should trust that He knows what He is doing and that He will give us all that we NEED if we only ask.
So the next time you’re having one of those days, take a walk out in nature and observe the birds of the sky. Thank God for what you have and ask Him for the things that you need.
Like we took care of Marley until he was ready to be released back into the wild, God will take care of you and train and equip you so that you can one day also be released to your life’s purpose.
All of the struggles, the pain, the sadness, and frustration are making a solid foundation for you so you can be used greatly and so that your life experiences can serve as a road map for those who are hurting. Maybe it’s just so you can share smiles with broken people, or maybe you will open up a nonprofit to protect abused children. Maybe you’ll encourage people who are disabled through a ministry or outreach. No matter what you are going through, never forget that your life matters and it has a purpose far beyond what you could ever know or understand.
On earth we only see the stormy clouds that hover over us – yet our heavenly Father is seated above the clouds and he sees through the clouds and knows when we need rain and when we need sunshine.
Remember to live life as a gift and give that gift away every day!