“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all” [HY NO. 137]
I was sitting in the garden in the lovely sunshine with a cup of coffee by my side and in the peace of this place I was contemplating the beauty of nature and the wonder of God. My reverie was interrupted by a female blackbird who hopped down onto the grass and started to peck away at the slabs of the patio. I knew what she was after, the ants who lived between the slabs at that far end. They don’t bother me so I don’t bother them unless they shift all the sand between the slabs and then we have a running battle when I sweep it back.
Anyway, back to Mrs. Blackbird after irritating the ants she did a strange thing. She sat on the grass completely extended her wings, hunched down as flat as she could and ruffled her body feathers until they all stood up on end. The ants were by now moving among her feathers and squirting Formic Acid all over which gets rid of the parasites etc but does not seem to bother the bird. She lay there for some time not in the least bothered that I was sitting about 10 feet away from her.
We sat in silence, she seemed to be enjoying the moment as much as I could judge, and I sat enjoying the spectacle of a bird completely at ease and using the defence mechanism of the ants to her own advantage. Then the moment passed, with a shimmy and a shake she divested herself of the ants, stood up and the feathers were back in place, she was up and ready for action, with a hop into the bushes onto the fence and away.
You might say how wonderful is creation, or you may think how clever are the birds who use such tactics to help themselves. I think how fortunate I was to witness this and find that moment of peace with a bird in a garden it was like a wee blessing being transported to another place.
Sometimes we need that time to be in the “other place” even just for a short while. That space in our lives where something attracts our attention and it has nothing to do with the ordinary chores of everyday life, but we are caught up with the wonder and the glory of God which bursts into our daily lives.
It also reminded me that even the smallest perhaps even most annoying of creatures have their place in the world. To be honest I could sometimes say to myself what is the point of ants, yet they have a purpose we don’t think about or fully understand. Just like our relationship with the people around us in everyday life. There are many we get along with really well and enjoy the company of. There are others who can turn out to be the “thorn in our side”. Always complaining, always with the negative attitude, just always taking the opposite point of view just for the sake of it. Yet, God made everyone in His image and loves all that He made, everyone has a purpose in this life, even though we do not recognise it or want to recognise it.
The person who asks the difficult question when we have a brilliant plan is like the ant squirting formic acid over the enterprise. Maybe though the question should be asked and fearlessly, so that disaster can be avoided. If we do have someone who is a “thorn in our side” then that maybe that is someone who is in need of prayer and help. No matter how much we rail against them. I have found by experience that the best way to deal with someone who has really hurt or upset me is to hand it all over to God and ask Him to take away the antagonism I feel and the hurt. God is good and sends His Healing to all situations if you but ask with all sincerity and faith
It reminds us also that If God is concerned for the least of His creatures then how much more is He concerned over you. We take heart from that thought as we journey through life meeting the lovely and the unlovely knowing that we can place everything into the Caring Hands of God who never fails us.
LET US PRAY
The Good Father of us all, the mighty Creator of all things,
We marvel at the wonder of nature and the wonder of Your Grace,
We give thanks for the glimpses of “otherness” we experience in our lives,
The small blessings which make us catch our breath or stops us in our tracks.
We worship and adore you with all of our hearts, and dare to come before You in Prayer.
Jesus having paved the way for us to approach so boldly and we thank You for Him.
We pray for those who find life difficult, who are plagued with awkward situations and awkward people.
We pray for those who are the “thorn in our sides” and ask for a sense of understanding and patience.
We pray for out nation emerging out and about and for safety for all.
We pray for the leaders that they might make decisions which benefit the whole nation.
We ask a blessing now on our family and friends and all whom we know are in need of prayer.
Might Sovereign God we thank You for Your Loving Care and for the Deep Peace which is found only in You.
We ask in Jesus name.
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