Monday, April 24, 2023

Two Little Birds

The other afternoon I was walking our beagle, Ellie, at a local schoolyard near some bushes and brush.  I heard sounds coming from the brush and immediately my mind conjured up some large menacing dog, an irate person or even a huge black bear. 

Now, there are no black bears in our area, but I have a history of imagining such things from when we have been backpacking.  At night, when nestled to sleep with nothing between us and the forest except a thin nylon tent, any sound from the woods becomes, in my imagination, a nine-foot, hungry black bear just waiting to gobble us up.  Just as there are no black bears in our area, along the Appalachian Trail where we have backpacked, bears are not waiting in the woods to eat hikers.  In fact, the bears are usually more frightened of the hikers than the hikers are of them.  Still, at night in the tent, I have to remind myself that the sound I am certain was caused by a black bear was probably made by a bird.  This was the case in the schoolyard that day.  As I focused my eyes on the bushes, out hopped two little birds - not nearly nine feet tall - and obviously the source of the sounds I had heard.

But isn't that just like fear, to make us think something tiny and small is large and dangerous and set upon our destruction?  Our fears always escalate if we give into them.  The more we concentrate on them the more they grow and grow and become something that no one could overcome.  Unless that person trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible clearly tells us, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

The Lord Jesus frequently encouraged His disciples to "be not afraid," and His Spirit within us does the same.  We must make a choice, will we listen to the fear or to our Lord?  Fear yells and shouts.  The Holy Spirit speaks with a still, small voice.  Fear invokes feelings of anxiety and sometimes even panic.  The Holy Spirit is called "The Comforter."  He is the source of all peace, comfort and joy.

In those moments of our lives where we imagine the black bears in the bushes, let us choose, by faith, to listen to the still, small voice of the One who loved us so much He willingly died for us.  Let us choose the One called the Prince of Peace. 

"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, 'Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.' " 

Matthew 14:27

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