When we go camping the animals are always an important part to me. I love them.
This year we did not see as many as we usually do as we were camping later in the season.
The odd squirrel was still about and my husband saw a couple of deer one early morning.
He also saw this blue heron flying in the morning mist and then landing on the lake shore.
He also snapped this adorable hare by the lake , and who later came up to our campsite.
But most I enjoyed the Clark's Nutcrackers. The first day, (before they called all their friends) there were two of them in our campsite where I was waiting with a ready supply of peanuts. One of them - with no hesitation at all - flew in to land on my outstretched hand and help himself to the treats I offered !
The other - you can see him at the bottom of the photo - could not be coaxed to eat out of my hand! He would fly in , land at my feet and wait for the Nutcracker eating out of my hand to accidently knock a peanut to the ground, which he would then quickly snap up with his beak !He would land on the table and eat the peanuts an inch from my hand but would not touch my hand.
He would sit at my feet for the longest time looking up at me .... waiting... for me to let a peanut drop from my fingers. As soon as I let one drop, he would eagerly gobble it up and then sit , waiting for more. I knew he knew the nuts came from my hand and I was determined to coax him to fly up those last couple of feet.
We played a patience game... I stood holding out the peanuts in my hand... he stood on the ground waiting. He won out... and I finally threw him the peanuts.
I saw an object lesson in how these Clark Nutcrackers picture man's attitude toward God.
The confident Nutcracker portrays a heart attitude we clearly understand.
He is the one who hears God's call..."Come unto Me.." and responds positively to God's yearning for His people to just fly in - boldly- and come to freely take of the blessings He offers.
Heb 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
It was the one who refused to eat from my hand that intrigued me as I thought about how often people are so much like him!
I was reminded of the Israelites when they stood before God on Mt. Zion and drew back in fear. They prefered to hear God's Word through Moses rather than hear God for themselves.
Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (Exo 20:19)
I had a dear friend I lost to cancer in 1994. She had a strong belief in God but was afraid to 'eat out of God's hand' herself. Whenever a need arose in her life she would come to me, asking me to go to God for her. I tried to persuade her that she could herself go to God, but she would insist that I had a direct line - she didn't. She had more faith in God answering my prayer than she had faith that God would hear her. I was so pleased that toward the end of her life she grew in confidence that she herself was welcomed at God's throne.
While for some, like my friend, it is simply a lack of faith that keeps them from 'eating out of God's hand' , for many I think there is another reason.
God lives in a brilliant light and even though He is invisible to our physical eyes, coming close to God has a way of making us aware of our sin. When Peter first recognized that Jesus was more than an ordinary man , he exclaimed "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" (Luke 5:8)
We are more comfortable to live our lives a safe distance from God. Close enough to sooth our consciences but far enough away so that we can enjoy the pleasures of our own desires.
We love God's blessings and come looking for them , but we prefer to receive them on our own terms.
God will not wink at our sin but how foolish we are to hold God at arm's length, to prefer our own ways and desires to the perfect ones He has in mind for us.
If we seek Him, how quickly He will be found.
If we desire to forsake every little sin that displeases Him, how quickly He forgives.
There is no safer place we could be than in the hand of God. To prove how safe we are, He says, "See? I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands." (Is.49:16)
And how does He discribe the one who dares to live in His outstretched hand ?
"You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. " (Isa. 62:3)
How can we do other than respond with joyful gratitude at the God who so loves us?