I don’t usually sit in our sun room early in the morning but on this particular day, I am. I’ve watched breathtaking sunrises in this room, birds at the feeder, and now today out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of something flapping high in the bare oak tree. In my blurring vision, I cannot make out the image. By process of elimination, I am settling on the fact that it is a duck dancing on the branch of our tree. Interesting and unusual enough, I stare at it and wait. Perspective, is the word coming to my mind right now- this duck has gotten out of the pond, flown to a high branch, and is now gaining a new perspective…
Funny, perspective is what I have been praying for all week. It has been my theme word over the last seven days it seems. Lately, it’s been so easy to get caught in the flow of my blinding daily routine that I’ve felt like I’ve been swept downstream away from God’s best for me. A subtle ripple of good intentions, a fast pace, and urgent interruptions have contributed to my unintentional drift. Right now, I’m not sure where I am floating exactly.
I suppose that’s why this duck is so intriguing to me today. It rose out of the familiar pond, settled on our old oak, and won’t have to stay in the branch very long to gain a new perspective. I love that it didn’t have to travel far and yet it must have taken courage to see its life in the pond from a different angle. My prayer today is for God to provide an opportunity for me to gain some much needed perspective. I think everyone needs it from time to time, if not daily–especially when we’re feeling over-tired, over-worked, lonely, tense, exhausted, discontent, physically ill, or hopeless. It’s o.k. to withdraw to lonely silent places to seek God’s presence, His perspective, and His best will for us. My model is Jesus as He sought the Father by withdrawing to lonely places, and as He cried out in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. I believe that God wants to fellowship with those who seek Him in this way. It’s at those times that I pray that I will have enough faith to act on what He reveals- especially when my situation seems impossible to me. I confess, stepping out of the familiar for a brief moment to courageously surrender my expectations, assumptions, and desires–takes courage. I know for a fact that this step of faith blows me away every time though. His presence changes things- especially me and things never remain the same after retreating to quiet places. My Father always shows up and provides the new perspective I’m so desperately in need of. Yes, the duck in our tree has been a good role model for me. Hopefully you and I both, won’t miss our opportunities to retreat in faith, to clarify God’s vision for our lives, to gain comfort in His perspective, and be drenched over and over again in His unyielding love and grace.
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)
“.. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place…”