This morning I was serenaded by a mockingbird as I left and returned to my neighborhood while walking. I used to be annoyed by this bland bird that inhabits the area. Mockingbirds aren’t much to look at and they can be very aggressive during nesting season. The dog and I have been bombed by scolding mockingbirds on several occasions. They also have a habit of singing in the dark. Yet, I am coming to appreciate the intelligence and creativity of this bird. He sings an endless variety of quilted birdsong stolen from every source to which he has listened. The observer gets an amazing chorus of a dozen birds for the price of one! Special music.
Later in the morning as I sat still to commune with God, I was again blessed by a member of the natural world. After weeks of distractions, obligations, and excuses I leveled with God for my need to feel His presence. I was claiming the Bible verse, “…I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 NIV). I really wanted to experience a sense that God would be with me for all of my life — regardless of any doubts.
In my earnestness, a few tears slipped down my face as I silently spoke to God. From about 20 feet away I heard my dog get up and softly come to stand by my leg. With a sigh he collapsed by my feet. I opened my eyes and stroked his side, thanking God for using our furry friend. If Balaam’s donkey could speak,* why couldn’t the Holy Spirit provide me with assurance through the life of my pet? I know his response could possibly be explained by science. Yet I am moved to gratitude for a God who knows how to talk to me.
Certainly nature has been afflicted with the effects of sin’s infections. Just this week a woman was bit by a bear, and several people were bit by sharks in the ocean. All is far from perfect on this earth. But God will speak if we are listening. He can turn hearts with art, music, literature, birds, dogs, weather, babies, friends, good food — whatever fits.
So when I have had too much traffic, bad news, disturbed people, chores, and errands, it is in nature and God’s creatures that I can hear his love. These avenues have spoken to me since I was a child. He knows me. I just have to be present.
*Numbers 22:21-33 (NIV)© 2017 - 2021 ASA. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.