This almost grown up blue jay baby cracked me up, and then reminded me of me.
This young bird stood on the food she wanted and begged then demanded that her parents feed her. The parent birds stayed hidden in a nearby bush. Their calls to her were gentle as if they were letting her know they were there for her and were cheering her on.
Their child-bird-hollered back at them. I think blue jays stomp their feet with their voices. Sometimes I do too.
Her parents must have grown tired of her raucous demands because they flew off leaving their stubborn still begging girl sitting on the suet.
She was a bit of a drama queen!
Finally, she turned to the nourishment at her feet and ate it. Significant portions went down her gullet. She was hungry!
So was I. For answers. From God.
My prayer held a bit of jaw-clenched begging, and my internal voice had an edge to it that sounded much like young blue jay.
Day after day I sat out there with my Bible in my lap begging God for answers to my prayers. For direction and hope. I was hungry for His wisdom. I can’t tell you exactly what I was waiting for – not lightening – I wanted the sun to keep shining. Not a voice – that would have scared me silly.
What I did know was that my dreams were dragging, my spirit sagging, and the work I love to do was lagging.
Over the next few minutes, I reminded God of the many ways I was striving for success. I named off the experts and the titles of books I’ve read this summer. Of the business blogs I’ve read (wisdom gathering) and the time I’d invested in learning (knowledge is good) and listening (getting wise counsel) and doing (no just believing for me!).
I heard myself say, “Father! I’m exhausted. And I do not want to waste the rest of the life You’ve given me on discouragement, naps and bad moods!”
Whoa. I said all of that out loud and surprised me a little but like the baby jay, I kept calling, begging, and demanding. “I feel so empty God – feed me! I the energy to do the stuff I’ve learned and to learn more!” It may have sounded like, “Please. Please! Please!!”
I kept going until I ran out of words because knew He wouldn’t leave me like the baby jay’s parents.
He said so.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
So, I waited. It was my intention to pause briefly and then petition Him yet again. Just as I was gearing up for another “storming heaven” session, two words crossed my mind. “Open it.”
Since my water bottle was already uncapped, I had only one other thing with me that I could open. His Word and now I was clutching it with both hands to my heart the way a drowning woman might hang on to a life preserver in the raging ocean.
It was time to release my grip on my Bible and open it. And that was a little scary too – why couldn’t I just hold it? Couldn’t that be enough? All I wanted was comfort – right?
Nope. It was time to do more than hold on and beg.
Instead of searching for a verse in the concordance on the topic of my choice, I opened to a passage I knew by heart: Isaiah 40. This time instead of reading only the verse (31), I read the whole chapter then returned to the last few verses.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)
I read the last part again. The questions, “Have you not known? Have you not heard?” stung my heart more than a little in the best of ways. Because there it was: conviction wrapped in His mercy and love. Yeah – I knew and I’d heard.
A few minutes later, young blue jay came back. So did her parents who sat in the bush and began their training ritual again. This time the young bird pressed her beak quickly into the sun-warmed suet.
I was glad for her and gladder for me.
Because in my sun-warmed chair I’d finally ceased my incessant calling and found the truest of sustenance for my spirit.
Until Next Time,