I awoke this morning to the sound of distant thunder. A light rain quickly escalated into a real spring thunder storm. As I lay in bed listing to the thunder and rain and watching the lightning illuminate my bedroom walls, my ears began to hear a sound that seemed strangely out of place.
One solitary bird was singing away with all its might. It wasn’t the fearful sound of a bird in trouble, but the happy sound of a bird who is welcoming the day. My first thought was, “What in the world is that bird so happy about? He’s out in the pouring rain probably getting all wet.”
But as I listened to him cheerfully sing on and on a new thought came to me. Is that how I sound in the midst of the storms of life? Do I have a song of praise even during the rainy days? Or do I grumble and complain when things are difficult or not to my liking?
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I wish I could say I spend my time praising the Lord during trials, but I’m afraid that often isn’t the case.
My friend Deanne Crawford shared this story in her study of Psalm 119:
“Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her awesome book, “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that sets them free” makes reference to Arthur Mathews, a missionary in China from 1938-1949, when the communists took control. Mr. Mathews was one of the last China Inland Missions missionaries to leave China in 1953 after being held under house arrest for 4 years with his wife and daughter.
Mr. Mathews stated, “We tend to look at the circumstances of our life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hope and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek His perspective, but to ask Him to deflect the trouble. Our self concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do in our trouble…
An escapist generation reads security, prosperity and physical well being as evidences of God’s blessing. Thus when He puts suffering and affliction into our hands, we misread His signals and misinterpret His intentions.”
Beloved, we will deal more thoroughly with this topic in our next lesson, but I encourage you to examine your belief about suffering and affliction.
How do you respond to affliction?
How do you pray through affliction—do you seek immediate relief or seek His perspective and will?”
As I read these words this morning I asked myself the above question and thought about the little bird out singing in the rain – cheerfully trusting his Maker.
I’ll leave you today with the words of this poem I memorized as a child.
Overheard in an Orchard
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”
By Elizabeth Cheney
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© 2007 Phyllis Sather