Friday, June 28, 2013

A New Season

In an earlier blog (5/23/13) I discussed my observations of the house wrens that were nesting in a bird house attached to our deck. There was much activity by the parents but nothing yet visible. Over the subsequent weeks I began to hear chirping noises every time the parents would fly into the bird house. Finally, the chicks had hatched but still remained unseen. As more time began to pass, the chirping got louder and the frequency of visits by the parents began to decline. One afternoon I decided to stand at a distance and look into the hole and to my surprise I could see the now fully grown chicks crowded in the bird house. I knew that their departure was imminent. Sure enough two days later, I no longer saw the parents. What I did see was the head of one of the chicks sticking out of the bird house. Cautiously it looked around as it saw for the first time the world outside of that bird house. Then slowly but surely it inched its way out until it spread its wings and flew off. This pattern repeated itself with the flight of two more chicks until the bird house was empty. The Spirit began to impress upon my heart the lessons I needed to learn from this experience. What was unseen and had been waited upon with expectation was now a reality. God brought to pass for these birds a new season. They were to leave the old, comfortable, and familiar security of their bird house and fly off into a new world. This is reminiscent of the Abrahamic call in Genesis 12:1 where God told Abraham, "Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." The fact that I observed three birds fly off reminded me of the Trinity, (Father, Son, and Spirit) at work in this situation. I was also reminded that the number three is symbolic in Scripture not only representative of the Trinity but also perfection. Moreover, there are instances in Scripture where the number three proceeds God's preparing to do something special. In the gospel of Luke, chapter 1, after the angel visits Mary he tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is also pregnant in her old age and is going to give birth. At the time Elizabeth is 6 months along in her pregnancy. (Luke 1:36) Mary goes to visit Elizabeth and Luke tells us, "Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home." (Luke 1:56) After John the Baptist's birth, his father Zechariah who had been mute for his disbelief about what the angel told him (Luke 1:18-20) suddenly was filled with the Holy Spirit and began prophesying. (Luke 1:67) John the Baptist then went on to prepare the way for the Messiah. Additionally, Jesus in all of four of the gospels speaks of His impending death and how He would rise again in three days. As predicted Jesus did rise on the third day. The Lord has impressed upon me that after all my struggles trying to use my gifts in pastoral leadership I have now seen the unseen and I am to enter a new season and leave the familiar to venture out and plant a church. Needless to say, like those new chicks cautiously looking out on a previously unseen world, I am anxiously moving forward into the unknown. I don't know what lies ahead of me any more than being able to know where those chicks flew off to. However, observing those three chicks fly off gives me a sense that God is about to do something spectacular in this new season of my life. I have mentioned in the past, one of my favorite devotional books, "Streams in the Desert." The day those chicks, took flight the meditation for that day focused on Moses and how God will move obstacles for His own. I was encouraged by some of what the meditation said, "Never dread any consequence resulting from absolute obedience to His command. Never fear the rough waters ahead, which through their proud contempt impede your progress. God is greater than the roar of raging water and the mighty waves of the sea.....Dare to trust Him! Dare to follow Him! Then discover that the forces that blocked your progress and threatened your life become at His command the very materials He uses to build your street of freedom." (F.B.Meyer) Is God calling you to a new season in your life? Then hear His words to you, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) 

Pastor Sheree

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