This week we have had a young cardinal or what I call red bird sitting on our window sills chirping over and over. At first I thought it was some prehistoric bird lost from the past, but after taking a closer look I know it is just a younger cardinal. He’s kind of ugly with his big bulging eyes and feathers that are not a pretty red color yet as they should be. As he and I sat there looking at each other one afternoon, I wondered, what is he doing? Doesn’t he know I’m human and could be a threat to him if I were a bad human? Knowing he was a baby though, I realized he hasn’t figured all of that out yet. He’s just being curious as he discovers this new world around him. It could be that he didn’t actually see me at all and was just talking to his reflection in the window. I will never know.
Nonetheless, He kept chirping over and over, “Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep,”…most of the day long. Male cardinals are very territorial and they use song to establish their territory. I suspect he’s a bit inexperienced with how all of that works. He’s going to ensure his territory is his by driving anyone who tries to get close, crazy with his continuous, repetitive song! Nonetheless, as he stares at me through the window with those beady eyes, I want to run and rescue him as he seems to be having such a hard time growing up and figuring out how to be an adult.
I’m sure we wear God out at times too when we, “Cheep, cheep, cheep,” in perhaps a whining sort of way as we grow disillusioned by trying to always do the right thing and nothing seems to go our way. However, as we learn to trust God and grow to understand His voice, our cheep, cheep, cheeps turn into beautiful music. As we take one day at a time exploring, reading, praying, seeking and most of all waiting, God shows us the beautiful person He created us to be.
The one thing about it all is that God doesn’t always rush to our rescue when we are going through tough times. It’s as though He’s on the other side of the window, hearing our cries but knowing we need time to figure it out so to speak. He knows that in order for it to be our faith and His strength working in our lives, we may have to suffer a while, probably whine a little, and go through His refining fires. When He is done, we can then stand back and watch as God transforms our beings into something awesome! I’m sure we look just as pathetic as the bird at my window, but it doesn’t make Him jump in and take over. He gives us grace and waits for the time when we are ready to grow. He watches patiently from the other side of the window. Just as beautiful as the young bird will be when his feathers are all in place and he has grown, so will your life be when you’ve passed through these trials onto the other side.
As I look around and see friends and loved ones struggling with relationships, others with their health, grief, some with depression, job loss, and even just simply unanswered prayer, I want to help them. I want to make it all better. But I have learned that if I jump in and fix it (if I really could), it will never be fixed like it will be if they would just trust God and hang in there for the long haul. It kills me to watch them suffering. The one thing I know is, “God will meet them where their need is. Perhaps not in their time and probably not how they are expecting Him to do so. But I believe He will be faithful to those who trust in Him. I can say this because I have been there and witnessed it all first-hand in my own life. I can also say that it was in those dark, hopeless years of my life that I truly understood what it is to trust. I learned not to question the works of my Master in my life…even when I thought the pain was never going to end.
My heart is heavy this week for those going through tough times. To my loved ones…I can see your fear, your unrest, your pain, and I even understand your questions as to why God isn’t intervening in your situation. I’ve actually asked them myself on your behalf and on mine at times. I don’t understand why when you and others are praying, praying, praying as the bird cheep, cheep, cheeps, nothing seems to change. Maybe God is just asking for your trust. Maybe He just needs for you to let go of everything and accept that which He has given you for this time. Just learn to just be content in your situation so to speak. I know that God’s way is where we all want to be. If God is quiet, there is a reason. He doesn’t make mistakes.
Even though I suspect the cardinal doesn’t see me in here on the other side of the window, I see him. As a matter of fact, I have even prayed for him to find his way as he looks so pathetic to me with those big beady eyes and beak that don’t fit his head. So if you’re standing on the other side of the window crying out to God but can’t see Him in your life right now, know that He is there. He is watching and waiting for the perfect time to reveal Himself in your situation. He is watching as you grow to know and understand Him more intimately. He loves you so much!
I would like to close with some words from Moses. Moses was one who knew suffering first hand but he also knew God intimately. He was even allowed to see God at one point. (Exodus 33:21-23) His words in Exodus 14:13-14 say this: …“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
He is God. We are not. May He reign in your life no matter what your circumstances may be.