Resting in the rain
I am propped up in bed right now alternating between heat and ice on my lower back. I am trying to hold off taking anything stronger than an NSAID because I do not want to spend another fuzzy day in a marathon nap.
Yesterday, as I bent down to place clean sheets on the shelf below my massage table, I felt the muscle spasm begin at the small of my back, wrap around my hips and end at the top of my thighs. Once I caught my breath, I realized I could not straighten up and that this was not a simple muscle pull.
Although, thankfully, this does not happen very often; this is not my first rodeo. I know it will be at least two weeks before I am back to my regular schedule and I also know that the best place for my back is to be propped up on my supportive mattress. Which also happens to be the best seat in the house to watch bird activity as we have two large feeders that I can see from my bed.
My husband recently added a small, acrylic window feeder to the window next to our bed. It is a dainty thing, only big enough for sparrows and red headed finches. Two little birds at a time can stand on the protected feeder platform and enjoy eating without being bullied by bigger birds because they simply can’t fit on the feeder.
It’s been raining really hard this week and it warms my heart to see the little birds huddle under the roof of the feeder, fluff their feathers for warmth and settle down for a relatively warm and dry nap. I doubt they find this opportunity often and I’m glad we can provide it.
One day this past week I walked into the bedroom and noticed something unusual at the window feeder. A finch had huddled as close to the window as possible and was munching on seed…with its eyes closed. I gingerly sat on the edge of the bed to see what this bird was up to, and for close to 20 minutes I watched it munch on seeds and never once open its eyes. Not only did it feel safe and protected enough to enjoy a meal, but it had the peace of protection to take a nap as well! I also saw two small sparrows sheltered by the platform and the roof waiting out a particular nasty rainstorm. They weren’t interested in eating….just resting in the rain.
It occurred to me that my Father in Heaven provides shelter and shields, roofs and ramparts, platforms and parapets for each and every one of His precious children. David praises the Lord in Psalm 5:12 by exclaiming, “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” And also Proverbs 30:5; “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” But how often do I take advantage of the favor freely given by His Hand? Truth be told… seldom. I usually face the pelting rain head on with an inadequate umbrella of self-preservation, self-importance and a large amount of self-justification for my actions thrown in. And I’m battered by the storm when the rains and winds subsides. I may have survived the squall, but I most assuredly am the worse for wear; when it would be better to do as David did by “encouraging and strengthening himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Sam 30:6.)
Why will I simply not trust God to protect and shelter me? I know that not a sparrow falls from the sky that He does not see. I know that God considers me worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7). So what keeps me on the path of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome), instead of just flying into the Throne Room of God and perching in the rafters where I will be more than welcome ?
I love God and I have felt His presence, His protection and His love for me more times than I can count. I both know and feel that He will always answer when I call. He will never tire out or tune me out. Nehemiah 9:27 reminds me of this; “And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.” So what keeps me from running to God when I am beaten and battered by the tornadoes that touch down in my life? Because I simply don’t think!
Or is it that I think too much? Not of what God can do for me or through me in a particular circumstance; but what I need to do of my own accord. Can one learn to trust as readily as think? Isaiah 26:3 reminds me of this. “You will keep in perfect peace her whose mind is steadfast because she trusts in you.” I can testify that thinking about my problems all the time does not keep me in perfect peace. It doesn’t even keep me in imperfect peace. But resting in that trust will. Every, single time. If I will just allow it.