There are two birds that have decided to call our front porch their home. Over the past week, we have had a number of thunderstorms, but they have found refuge on the crooks of stone that protrude from our outdoor walls.
Yesterday, however, we watched as they worked all day, piece-by-piece, putting together a nest. By nighttime, their small home clung to our wall, and the female rested comfortably in her new bed while the male stood guard just a foot away on a crook of stone.
Today, they began to work again, flying to and fro, bringing bits of twigs and mud to add to their home. By evening, their nest was a bit larger, now able to hold both the male and female comfortably for the night.
There will be eggs soon and the promise of new life. It is one of the sweetest things we have ever seen.
Until we look down.
For beneath the nest are dark stains splattered all over our concrete porch. There are bird droppings and chunks of mud from their failed attempts to make their nest. I see the mess and all I can think of is the extra work I will have to put in to keep it all clean.
And then I’m reminded that sometimes life is like that. When we look up, we find hope and joy in our Savior, but when we look down, we often see the chaos instead of the children, the piles of laundry instead of the precious souls that fill them. Looking down, it is easy to get overwhelmed, to feel like there is so very much that we have to do. We get distracted by the things and activities calling us every which way, the inanimate voices screaming louder and louder for our attention.
When we look down, we are often inundated with the struggles of this world. We see the hardships, the dark stains on our souls, the messes we have made. We think about all the cleaning up we will have to do, all the extra work that we will have to put in. We forget that the price has already been paid.
We forget to look up.
In Christ, we have the promise of new life. He gives us peace amidst the storms and crooks of stone to stand on until we are ready to trust Him fully and nest in His promises.
Surrendering our lives to Christ doesn’t always take away the hard parts of life. It doesn’t mean that we will get all that we ask for or that we won’t have to work to pursue righteousness as He sanctifies us. It doesn’t mean that there will always be sunshine, for it takes the rain to make life grow.
It does mean, however, that we can look up to the promises of tomorrow and the hope of eternal life that is found only in Him (John 3:16). It means that we can see and experience the beauty of His world and find joy in the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). It means that we can call on His name for strength (Philippians 4:13), guidance (John 16:13), and wisdom (James 1:5) and trust that all things will work out for our good (Romans 8:28). It means that although we are sinners, we can call on His name, repent, and be made clean (Acts 3:19).
Looking up means that we can comfortably and wholeheartedly nest in His grace. We can find rest in Him through the storms of life.
And then, one day, we can began to fly . . . to and fro, growing our nest a little more for those around us to do the same.
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Photo credit: Pixabay