Monday, June 16, 2008

The Pressure Washers meant it for Evil but God meant it for Good

For the last several weeks, a pair of barn swallows have been tirelessly building a mud nest on one of the fire sprinklers in the breezeway outside my door. Over the days Craig and I have watched that nest build a little at a time as these tiny birds bring tiny bits of mud and twigs and make their nest. Last week for several days the female was nesting, resting quietly in her work and I suppose waiting for the next step.
Last Friday the building was pressure washed and the nest was cruelly sprayed away in a matter of seconds. I watched the pair fly around the site and through the breezeway for a few days searching desperately for their nest. They seemed confused and I was certain that in a few days they would be gone. I wondered whether they missed the window of opportunity to mate and lay eggs. After all, this all seems to be a delicate process easily thrown out of balance.
Within a day those two little birds began again. From the first little blob of mud, they started over doing what they were made to do. The Lord put in them the desire to build a nest and the ability to do it, yet when all their hard work literally turned to a mud puddle, they began again.
I often feel confused after a seeming failure and I am tempted to give up completely. Even to doubt my call. But I know what the Lord has made me to do, what He has taught me to do and what He has called me to do. And when it appears to my eyes like all has been for nothing, I must start again, and again. I know this lesson is for me....God help me to remember it when the pressure washers show up.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey

Loved your story about the barn swallows. Gave me a kick up the but - just what I needed!

Hope you are well.

I will write soon, when the pressure washers leave.

Tracey Clarke (Scotland)

wren said...

What a wonderful lesson! I loved this piece of writing! Paint this idea!

Anonymous said...

I love your June blog. Such a wonderful insight.

The April and May blogs have much sorrow in them. When my heart was heavy with sorrow that would not go away (for a long, long time), I turned to the book of Job to try to understand. I researched the questions Job asked. I even researched the awkward answers that his friends gave, because sometimes their answers sounded almost right, but I knew something was missing in their answers because their answers made Job miserable and made God angry. What I found in my research – over and over – was not dark, heavy stuff about suffering, although I did learn that suffering simply is part of life – so Jesus suffered right along with us. What I found was joy! Love bubbling up in verses where I had expected to find wrath. Grace poured out where I expected to find punishment. Aggressive, energetic, merry love from God poured out on us, even when we refuse to believe it. That study changed my life. We try over and over again to generate joy and peace within ourselves, but that’s not the way it works. Instead, God tells us repeatedly how much He loves us and cares for us and redeems us and plans good things for us. By His Spirit and by His grace, eventually we begin to believe the good news, and when we do, simple gratitude and wonder generate joy within us. God is so much more loving and kind and joyful than we can guess or imagine that we have trouble believing it even when He prints it in unequivocal words in every book of the Bible. I think we sometimes use the Bible to study ourselves. Joy comes when we use the Bible to study God. He’s the good news. Your January blog found the good news and joy bubbled up.