Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chickadee Challenge

Chickadee babies.

The famous chickadees (see blog posts Chickadee Choices and Chickadee Conflict) who have been living in our yard (or their yard depending on your perspective) have been challenged. You may remember the sparrows from earlier in the year that tried to take advantage of the chickadee’s nest building. The intruding sparrows thought they could move into a furnished luxury apartment, until my husband stepped in and made the door chickadee-sized. The sparrows could no longer gain entrance and finally the chickadees were able to finish their home and start their family.

This week, just as the babies were coming out of their shells the sparrows returned. Even though they knew they could not enter and use the nest themselves, they were determined to wreak havoc on the chickadee family. They did.

They travel in a herd, or maybe a flock. Their stampede certainly seemed like a raging herd of bulls. Through sheer intimidation, numbers, and persistence they bullied the chickadees until out of fear, the chickadees fled. With the naked little ones unprotected, the sparrows were able to grab one and pull it out of its home. When I heard the commotion I went out to help and found the babe sprawled out on the ground. Because he was still moving I carefully placed the tiny fuzzy-headed body back in the nest with his brother and scolded the sparrows. They almost seemed to laugh at me as they flew off.

We checked on the status of the siblings throughout the rest of the day and saw no sign of Mr. and Mrs. C. The next day, still no parents had come back to rescue their children. They were now beyond hope. Gone. Lifeless and alone in a box that was so full of hope.

The chickadees were given a great opportunity. They had a wonderful nesting box. They had the perfect size entrance hole so no intruders could trespass.  They even had our pond for bathing, and lots of worms for snacks. The one thing they didn’t have was courage to stand.  All they had to do was to stand firm in the knowledge of the security of the box, yet their fear got the best of them. They gave up when it got hard, and their fear cost them the lives of their chicks.

I must confess I am tempted to give up at times. I KNOW without a doubt that God has a plan, yet wonder sometimes how He could possibly work out certain circumstances that seem so impossible. I KNOW that His love is greater than any other and yet I still wonder if He really could love me.  I KNOW He created me for a purpose, and still wonder if He can use me flaws and all. Fears and doubt, all of them. Weaknesses that plague many of us, maybe even you.

The GREAT NEWS is, He knows and has given us exactly what we need to get through it.

  • Christians have Him living within us and have assurance that He will never leave or forsake us! Matt 28:20 We can stand firm with Him alongside us!

  • Stand firm in Who He is - Creator of the universe. Almighty God. Limitless in ability. He can never be overwhelmed by any situation. Job 11;7-10

  • Stand firm in His Word. It is unchanging. It will never fail. It will build you up in greater knowledge of Him which makes you stronger. The life built on it, will not fall. Matt 7:24-27

  • Stand firm against the enemy. Our adversary roams about looking for weakness and pounces at just the right time. Like the chickadees and sparrows, our enemy strikes us in our weak points. Many times that is fear. So many, many times we are told “Do not be afraid.” Heb 13:6 It is a common weakness among us and the chickadees, but we serve the God of Peace. 2 Thess 3:16

  • Stand firm in His promises. If He has given you a mission (He has) He will provide a way for you to accomplish it, no matter the odds, or circumstance, or situation. He WILL close the mouths of the lions. He WILL provide an ark in the flood. He WILL be with you in the furnace and loose your ropes and bring you through without even the smell of smoke on your clothes. Be strong and courageous when He directs your path. Joshua 1:6-9

  • Stand with other Christians. It may feel like you are outnumbered, but working together with other like-minded believers helps. Phil 1:27-28 

  • Stand firm when it seems like the enemy is winning. You may be injured by the enemy, but Satan loses the war. 2 Thess 1:6-10

  • Don’t give up! You may be outnumbered, but they are just sparrows and they do not have access to your home.  Be STRONG! 1 Cor 16:13

Father, we seem to have enemies all around us and yet with You within us we KNOW we are safe. Thank You for Your true and steady Word to strengthen and direct us. Help us to be an encouragement to others who are at a weak point, so they will remain strong in Your strength. Help us to look to You when fear besets us so that we will be faithful to do what You would have us to do. Thank You for defeating our adversary.

Have you experienced fear and the hand of God that overcame it? Share your story in the comment section to encourage someone. Let's create some happy endings!