Sunday, July 25, 2021

Me and My Ducklings

 I have always loved animals.  Loved to care for them .. loved to tame them.... loved to win their trust, even wild animals. 
We had a little pond on our yard  and one day I decided it needed some ducks to enjoy it.  
So we went to the nursery and  bought several duck eggs and set up a warm place for them to hatch in our foyer.  Duck eggs take longer to hatch than chicken eggs so it took some patience on my part.  
However, after 28 long days of waiting and watching the eggs hatch.   The ducklings were adorable, of course! 
A baby duck needs a 'mom' and their pre-programed instructions are to watch for the first thing that moves because that is their mom and they are to follow her.   
It so happened, of course, that I was the first thing to move in their range of vision so I became, by default or by design, their 'mom'. 
I loved them, especially their gently soft contented cooing sounds.  But it only took me moving out of their sight that the cooing became panicked, piercingly, high pitched squawks that did not let up until I stepped in their view again.   They refused to eat or sleep if they could not see me, and when I lifted them out of their enclosure they followed me as fast as their webbed feet would take them -- close at my heels.   What fun I had with them.   Of course as they got older they were okay living outside with each other for company.  I no longer had to be in sight all the time although they still happily came when I called them, but they had learned that I would reappear if I was gone for a time.  

The memory of those ducks came to mind the other day and thought about how we behave when God is 'out of sight'.  
We too have a pre-programmed awareness of God and our need of Him, but like my little ducklings we need Him to be 'in sight'.  

What does 'in sight' mean to us? 
 Does it not mean when everything is going well, and we have everything we need or want and we feel God is smiling down on us?    But there is nothing like hardship, or disappointment, or loss, or something going side-ways that we begin our panicked 'squawking'  calling for God to 'show Himself' and put things right again. 
Yet, of course, just like I was not 'gone' when my ducklings couldn't see me, so also God is not 'gone' - He is still watching over us -- He will not leave us, no matter what ! 
Psalm 139:7

If my ducklings could not see me, they refused to eat. Because the food was suddenly gone?
No, of course not, I made sure there was always enough food and water for them.  But they would have starved to death, with plentiful food in front of them, if I had stayed out of sight! 
It is a bit humbling to acknowledge, but are we not just like that?  
We feel God is 'out of sight' or far away and we focus on our grumbling or our complaining.  We are so consumed with worry or anxiety that we refuse to 'eat' of the good things that God has abundantly supplied.   It is right there in front of us, but we have blinded our eyes to it and refuse to 'eat' . We are so focused on the problem, on the 'what ifs' and the 'have nots' that have upset our day or our life, that we turn away from the God whose eyes are ever upon us.  The God who desires to encourage us with His love, to remind us that His promises do not fail. The God who will not leave us or forsake us.  No matter what we are going through He will work it for our good.  He desires that we eat of His provisions before us.  our faith, our trust in Him never faltering! 
Phil. 4:6,7 , Is. 43:2, John 14:27 

My little ducklings never questioned where I was going, or where I was leading them.  Their only  focus was to keep up with me and go wherever I was going. 
Would that we were like my little ducks.   Not concerned where God is leading us, not questioning His plan for our life , but  our only concern is  to keep up with Him, following His word and voice.   
Matt. 16:24 

If I was sitting on the grass, it didn't take long and all my ducklings were cuddled up close, on my lap, cooing contentedly.  It always melted my heart to see how much they trusted me. 
It didn't not matter to them that I was 'other'. They didn't question how much bigger I was than them, they never feared that I might hurt them or cause them harm in any way.   They never questioned me in any way.  I was their 'MOM" and all was well with their world. 
They loved nothing better than to be held and cuddled ... are we not also held in God's hand? Does He not invite us to draw near, to bask in His Presence? 
Is. 55:8,9   

Did my ducklings even begin to understand me in an intellectual way? Hardly...  and did it matter?  No...  It did not matter that they did not understand me - it only mattered that I understood THEM !  
Is that not a picture of us and God as well?  We cannot begin to comprehend all that He is... but does it really matter ?  No ... it just matters that He understands us !  
Jer. 1:5, Matt. 6:8, Ps. 139

PRAYER  "Dear Heavenly Father, how we praise you for your wisdom .  We thank you for your love toward us and are so grateful  for your unfailing care over us.  We place our trust in you even when things around us seem dark and fearful because there is no one else we can trust!   Fill us with your Presence and your Holy Spirit, that we may never falter in our steps as we follow you wherever you may lead !   We love you, Lord !  in Jesus' name , amen."