God is exceptionally God. Why would we not want to enter into his habitat? Perhaps the answer is that we have done so already in prayer, worship and Bible study? My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
A friend recently asked me why I love to watch birds. In essence, why would anyone want to pursue them for the sake of seeing them and nothing more? A fair question. My explanation left him a bit more understanding but unconvinced that it would be something he would want to do. I explained that for me birding wasn’t just seeing and recording a species of bird. Rather, when I track down a warble, trill, chip or call, I respond to an invitation to join the bird in its environmental niche if but for a moment or two. In that sense, I explained, the quest to identify a bird quickly becomes an exercise in not just seeing but knowing and partaking. When you track the thin, lisping song of the Black-throated, Blue Warbler into a brushy outcrop in the middle of a Hemlock forest, you’ve knocked on the bird’s door and entered into his domain. For the moment I am living with the bird in his place of song–his insect cafe. I feel like an honored guest, for a brief moment allowed to peek into the life of a bird that is seldom seen but wholly worth hearing and knowing.
Birdwatching gives me the opportunity to experience birds in person as opposed to simply seeing and reading about them in a bird guide. Every bird has a story to tell, dialogued in song and journalized in behavior. It’s the difference between just knowing and experiencing. Ultimately, getting into the bird’s habitat is as important as hearing its song and catching its image through binoculars or camera viewfinder. Birding is all about giving the bird time to pull you into its habitat. Once you’ve entered, the experience begins and the search has led to revelation, and revelation to reward.
What about God? We can read about him, even come to an understanding of his will for us in Scriptures. Yet, is there yet more reward to gain than this? Here’s a story. Writing about God’s sure guidance, British pastor Frank W. Boreham recounted a time when a minister visited his home in New Zealand. Being young and inexperienced, Boreham sought the counsel of his guest. He said that one morning they were sitting on the veranda, looking out over the golden plains to the purple sunlit mountains. He asked the minister, “Can a man be sure that in the hour of perplexity he will be rightly led by God? Can he feel secure against making a false step?” “I am certain of it,” exclaimed the minister, “if he will but give God time! As long as you live, remember that. Give God time!” (Tim LaHaye, How to Study the Bible for Yourself, Harvest House, pp. 95-96.)
How many of us look for an invitation to enter into God’s habitat and experience the gracious ruler of the universe? Black-throated Blue Warblers are one of the most beautiful of all Warblers, but our Heavenly Father has no equal with whom to compare. He’s incomparable beauty, exceptionally God. Why would we not want to enter into his habitat? Perhaps the answer is that we have done so already in prayer, worship and Bible study? I believe that this is a common mistake. While these give direction to God, just a bird book gives director to a birder, he’s offering so much more if, as Boreham suggests, we’re willing to “give God time.” The Bible tells us in Psalm 25:14: “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” We need to stop and be quiet often, giving God’s Spirit the moment in which to inculcate his song into us, drawing us into his beautiful realm of power and grace. Only then will we know God in a way that provides guidance and direction without uttering a plea or stating a case. We are in his presence.
We pray. Thank you Lord for inviting us to know your will personally by drawing close to you and abiding in your Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord when we stop short of experiencing the free relationship you offer to each of us when we simply allow ourselves to be satisfied with words about you and not words from you. Teach us Lord to know your will, not just know about it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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