Earlier this week I was feeling somewhat disconnected from God. When I'm in this space, I often seek some kind of sign from God to help reassure me that everything is going to be O.K. I notice when I'm actively looking for some indication of His presence, it seems like my petitions are falling on deaf ears. However, I'm beginning to think that God loves surprising us when we least expect it. Such was the case this past week. I was preparing dinner and happened to glance towards my dining room window. There, walking down our driveway was a mother duck and her chicks. As I walked over to see what was happening I noticed one of the chicks had been separated from the mother and its siblings. The chick had fallen on to the other side of a low wooden divider that runs along the edge of our driveway. As the chick ran back and forth trying to find a way to rejoin the family, the mother duck was matching the movements of her chick as she ran up and down. Finally the mother duck jumped on top of the wooden divider and on to the same side as her frantic chick. The remaining chicks, 5 in all, quickly followed her and with great effort managed to get their little bodies over the divider. Once reunited the mother duck and her 6 chicks waddled through the front yard and towards our busy main road. My husband went out to see where they were going but did not find any trace of them. We assumed she had taken her chicks safely across the road towards whatever destination she had in mind. I could identify with that little chick in distress. It seemed to mirror what I was feeling, separation from my Parent, the One who protects and provides. I admit also feeling some envy towards those who seemed to be what I perceived as closer to God or experiencing His favor. However, very much like that mother duck, I am never out of God's sight and He will do anything to come after me. He does not play favorites and wants me to remain in His family. He can be trusted to lead His children to safety even if the way ahead appears perilous. I am reminded of some of the Biblical images where God is described as having wings under which His children can find refuge. "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." (Psalm 91:4) Jesus used similar imagery as He wept over Jerusalem. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who sent you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34) In the same week, God seemed to reinforce His message that He is near. The lilac bush outside of our house is in bloom. I had stepped outside for a few minutes and glanced up at the bush and saw a butterfly. I quickly thanked the Lord and returned inside not thinking too much more about the encounter. As I was washing my hands at the kitchen sink, that same butterfly was sitting right outside the kitchen window resting on the window pane. It was as if the Lord was saying, "Pay attention, I'm doing this for you!" Needless to say I was speechless as I just watched the butterfly opening and closing it's wings. This time my gratitude to the Lord was much more heart felt! I feel God was encouraging me this week to follow the signs. To see the lessons in nature that like that mother duck and that butterfly, He will do anything to show me how much I am loved.
To God be the glory!