I was in my photo fort hoping for a stellar picture. It was cold, but the shiver in my heart wasn’t from the wind. A recent hurt rumbled around in my mind. Sitting there, I questioned myself and the calling I had been so sure of and now doubted.
I wanted to hide and take my purpose in life with me. To bury the talent in a deep dark place where no one could see it. Or me.
Life had an upside-down feeling to it, and my confidence was singed by the flames of fear.
When a female downy woodpecker landed on the suet feeder, I was delighted. My camera was ready, the light was right, and the focus was clear. I clicked away certain I had at least one good shot.
She stayed long and preferred the underside of the suet. My delight waned when I was distracted by doubt and fear snared my heart again.
Determined not to give in to it, I took a few deep breaths and kept my eye on the lovely upside-downy and wondered what I could learn from her.
A verse I’d been re-memorizing came to mind, and I told God, “I love that passage, but it’s not the lesson I want to learn today.” He had other plans, and I couldn’t resist the words from His Word.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
I kept my eyes on the downy, still feeding in her belly up position. I thought she seemed so vulnerable until I realized she leveraged that position to keep an eye on any predators that might come in from above her or at her from behind. She had no fear the little birds beneath her.
She had a safer perspective perched under the suet.
When she fluttered away, I capped my camera. I was done taking pictures for the day but was not ready to go in, so I walked. And I prayed Philippians 4:6-7. No named requests – He knew them all.
“Father, help me to be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to You. And may Your peace, which transcends all understanding guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
A bird lesson was cool and all, but I wanted something from God. Along the way, I stopped, opened my arms to the sky and said, “Please!”
My heart stayed uncomfortably upside down for days until I read this, “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (NKJV)
The Word of Truth extinguished the flames of my hurt feelings. Clarity replaced the chaos, and fear took a hike, and doubt fled as I put my confidence (my firm conviction and belief) back where it belongs – in the Lord.
And I thought about that beautiful upside down Downy and smiled. Because like her, even under life’s circumstances, I can be safe when I trust not what I’ve been told, but the One who knows His plan for me.
Cool Downy Fact: Because they are smaller than other woodpeckers, they can eat bugs living on or in the stems and the dried blossoms of wildflowers/weeds. They are often spotted on the undersides of slender branches – where the bugs often hide.
Until Next Time,
In case you’d like to read more bird devotionals, there’s this one: (Click the cover to see it on Amazon)
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