It’s a cold, cloudy, and blustery day here in Kansas. I was doing Gary duty with our Great Dane this morning. Gary is out of town right now, so I was the one shivering out on the back walk while our elderly Jackson took his jolly time doing his morning business. Why must he sniff every single leaf??!!
I looked over at our Rose of Sharon bushes, standing there in an ugly brown row. I could hear their crunchy dead pods brushing together in the cold wind. There was nothing inviting there, that’s for sure!
But something did catch my eye as I routinely scanned the dead scene. I walked over to further examine a cluster of branches at the end of the row. It was what I thought it might be. A bird’s nest, all tucked in securely among the brown stalks.
As I looked closer, I saw that this bird had repurposed some plastic to help line her nest. There were little dead leaves inside the nest that had blown there in our Kansas winds. I have no idea how old this nest is, or what kind of bird built it, but there it lay nestled safely in the branches.
I immediately was drawn to how God has told us that He cares for the birds of the air. He created them, He feeds them, and He knows when even one has fallen.
He also tells us that if He cares for the little birds, how much more does He care for His children?
I pondered all this as I hurried inside with Jackson, who was finally done with his doings. I thought about why I was able to see this nest. I could see it because the once pretty, green Rose of Sharon bushes were now bare of their beauty.
I could see a picture of God’s amazing care because all the beauty, for this particular season, has been stripped away.
How like our lives at times!
This is the scene that I far prefer.
I love the lush green growth, and all the beautiful blooms. And in my life, I love it when things are going well. I like it when life is pleasant; when I feel like prayers are being answered the way I want them to be; when I’m at peace.
But we all know that life isn’t that way…not all the time. Yet when times are tough…when my life feels like my winter Rose of Sharon, all dead and dreary…is when something amazing happens.
It’s in the empty times, when all the goodness seems gone, that I can more clearly see the goodness of God. I can plainly see His care without the distractions of all the fun and pretty things around me.
Sometimes I must step nearer and look closer, but there I will see God and His loving care in my life. God isn’t hidden by all the luster that I sometimes have, and honestly desire to have.
“As for me,” the Psalmist said, “I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer…” (Psalm 40:17)
If things are pretty all the time, I won’t always give as much thought to the Lord’s thought for me. But when life is rough and even feels empty, I can better see His thoughts for me. I see the form that those thoughts take…the loving care He has for me…the help He brings to me…how he strongly delivers me.
Sometimes seeing God happens best when I’m rid of the most.
I’m loving the view of this little nest today, unhindered by eye-catching distractions.
And I’m loving that I have a Heavenly Father who is thinking of me today and using such simple means to show me how truly awesome He really is!