Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby Bluebirds When Prayers Are Unanswered

Indigo and Baby Bluebird, ready for food.

My first prayer was that they were still alive and they were. The second was that God would send Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird (either the birth parents, or willing adoptive parents) to take care of these remaining two babies that became known as Indigo and Baby. I prayed with full faith that He could answer. I waited but, no Bluebirds came.

I had already rescued the unconscious and nearly dead babes (see Blue Birds and Worm Soup blog here) from certain death, gave them some protection and nourishment but, they needed parents to teach them bluebird things, a mentor for bluebird life. I continued to pray several times with full expectation of Mr. and Mrs. B showing up while I waited and watched. Watching and waiting even with full faith doesn’t force God to act. He acts according to His will and according to His purpose and I am thankful He does. My job is to be obedient, even when He asks me to go out of my comfort zone and into the Bluebird zone.

One prayer answered, another one not – at least not the way I wanted. That leaves me in the Bluebird raising business. As their temporary mentor, I have to brag on them a bit. Yesterday they were unable to hold up their own heads and about to give up on life, but today they are eager to live and can raise their heads and chirp big, strong chirps that would make a Bluebird Mom proud.

In order to establish some sort of communication, I rehearsed my all my best Bluebird chirps, and found one they recognized. They didn’t even laugh at my practice tries, at least not to my face – there were some unexplained and quite suspicious peeps back and forth - but I never brought it up, and they were far too polite to mention it.

When I whistled my amateur chirp, they opened their eyes, raised their little heads, stretched their skinny necks four inches upward and opened their beaks wide enough for me to see their plum down (Southern for “all the way”) to their gizzards with expectation of  delicious mealworm snacks. Somehow they were able to chirp with open beaks. I haven’t tried that one yet, but these talented little birds are experts at it, another proud moment. Of course, I got the message and rewarded their gizzards.

They now recognized me as “the chirper” who gives them food. I could walk by them, talk to them, the dog could bark, and thunder cold rumble but, until I chirped my special little chirp – they stayed down low with heads down, eyes closed, dreaming little bird dreams until mealtime. They trusted me to feed them and protect them.

With my prayer unanswered, I was given a marvelous opportunity to be a part of two little lives. I didn’t give them life, but I helped them find a way to live. I found a way to meet their needs and earn their trust.  Leaders do that. They look for new opportunities to meet needs and build trust, giving without expectation of reward, but finding reward in the development of another life.

Christ was like that. He left heaven, and sought us in our needs. He found ways to teach us so that we could understand His ways, and have life. How grateful I am that He took time to reach out to me, while I was lost and dying without a means for life. How grateful I am that He desires me to have life enough to give of Himself in order for me to have it. How grateful I am that He has made Himself known to me as the “giver of life and the giver of all spiritual nourishment.”

Many are lost and dying from lack of spiritual nourishment. As a follower of Christ, (“Christian” = little Christ) it seems that we should imitate Him. We might pray that He send someone to help the lost, but He might answer instead that we are who He wants to send. We might have to step out into unknown territory to those who don’t look like we do, or speak the way we do, or live the way we do. Often we will need to develop a relationship of trust before they are willing to accept what we have to offer. A good way to start is to speak words they understand instead of “churchy” language that may not be easily understood, or may be misunderstood. Building relationships like that allows for a mentor to lead with the kind of leadership that changes lives.

What can we do? I'm so glad you asked! I just happen to have some ideas.
  1. Pray before you act and be willing to accept the answer, it may become a great blessing.
  2. Recognize that you can make a difference – even if you think you can’t.
  3. Establish good communication and engage frequently.
  4. Building trust takes time, invest.
  5. Be known as the giver of spiritual nourishment, and dish it out with joy and compassion.
  6. Give thanks to God in all the small steps, they can be the beginning of a great journey.

Father in heaven, we are so very thankful to be able to know You hear our prayers. We thank You for answering in our best interest, whether we understand or not.

Help us to recognize the opportunities You present for us to help others. Give us the courage to step into the world of someone who needs to see You. Strengthen us so that our hearts will always be grateful in every circumstance and that we can share the life-giving Word of Truth with those who so desperately need it.

I have learned that instead of asking God why He doesn't do something, to consider that He placed me here. Maybe that was His answer. Maybe I am to do something...Listen to this song and ask God what He wants YOU to do today.

Read part 3 of Baby and Indigo's story here.

Matthew West 
"Do Something"

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