Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rubber Snakes and Proven Faith

Bird + Snake = Proven Faith 
I have two snakes at my house.  On purpose.   Really, I do.  Those who know my aversion for the reptiles are surely doubting my sincerity, I see it in your smirk.  All right, they are rubber snakes.  You and I both know my battle cry otherwise; “Off with their heads!”  Their sole purpose for being at or house is for discouraging the nesting of birds under our front porch.  Don’t get me wrong, I delight in birds and in most cases encourage their presence.  They just have to understand that our front porch is OUR front porch.   Several years ago a clan of barn swallows decided to make a mud nest by our front door.  Now, if we only had to deal with the muddy mess we might have let them homestead a while.  When they denied visitors to the entrance, (if you know about barn swallows, you know they call all their cousins from neighboring counties to join their “go away intimidation dance”) we had to do something.  So, after the babies were hatched and flew the nest (see, we aren’t heartless) down came their apartment and up went the rubber snakes.  Surely we could not have invested in better entertainment. 

When nesting time came again, they called in reinforcements for the dance, but as you might expect, the imitation serpents didn’t move.  They squawked and circled with no response.  After a few days of circling, a certain brave bird lit on and ferociously pecked the little rubber head.   Joined by his brothers in arms, they “killed” the imposter and rejoiced with the entire regiment.  The young ones got to practice their head shots, and all were finally satisfied that the threat was rendered harmless.  They were satisfied to have “slain” the menace, but still did not build back their dirt dwelling. 

Meanwhile, the house wrens watched the drama and were equally satisfied.  No longer alarmed by the predator, they use both the intimidation factor of the snake and their knowledge – proven faith –of the lack of danger to their benefit.  In the mid-January cold, the little guy pictured here often takes shelter under the porch, right up under the snake.  Who would dare sneak up on a bird wrapped up in a snake? 

Our faith works that way too.  Faith is proven when we see evidence that it is worthy of our trust.  We trust in cars, clocks, electricity and friends because we have watched and tested them and found them to be trustworthy.   So, when God gives us opportunities to “test” our faith in Him, and we find Him faithful during the test, what does that say about the test?  Was it for His amusement to see us squirm?  Was it to prove to us we can count on Him?  We are saved by grace, through faith – a gift of God - and the proving of our faith increases our faith.   The time of testing gives us tangible evidence of the reality and truth of His worthiness.   The test itself is often filled with pain and suffering, but the resulting increase of faith far outweighs the sting of the moment!  That is why we are told to “count it all joy… when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2, 3.

Father, we praise Your faithfulness to us in every circumstance and thank You for giving us opportunities to watch Your hand at work in the most dire of circumstances.  Help us to trust You ever more fully, and to share the truth of Your faithfulness every day, while we are enduring and abiding in Your strong and mighty hand!

Has God proven to you that He is worthy of your faith?  Remember that time and record it, treasure it, and SHARE it!    Would you try it today and share a bit of your story here?  I would love to hear what He is doing for you, and someone else might just need a little encouragement too!



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