Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Hiding Place ~

For weeks a bird had been luring me to my window every morning by a beautiful song. I would jump from the bed and quickly get to the window, only to be disappointed not seeing the bird singing.
Here and there throughout my day I would look into the trees to see if I could see this bird. Nope - it was so secretive in it's movements; I was just stumped and baffled each time I went outside looking! Each time going out I would be ever so careful in my movements looking around in our trees but nothing. I could only hear it's beautiful songs - I sure loved hearing them too. But, every morning the same thing accrued - and with me always saying; "What is that bird!"

I would think maybe a mocking bird with all it's different sounds but then I'd think no - it's not it.
Then one day when I was outside I saw some moment in one our Birch trees. It was dark in color but I was only able to get a glimpse of it's size and outline of its form. "What is that bird!"
Again each day I'd go out - I'm sure the bird saw me and would just keep singing away. Then just out of my mouth I said, "I bet you're a catbird!" How odd is that to say catbird, I've seen and read about so many birds but a catbird - I really can't recall reading or even seeing one.
This became a quest!

So I checked Google for "Catbird," and eureka! Gray Catbird appeared!

It wasn't to long after this that I was able to see for myself the Catbird, and such a pretty bird and not just one but also his mate. My pictures really don't do them justice.
Needless to say I was excited but I will - I was excited for sure!
I would watch them often and would see characteristics as listed on the site. I also had the opportunity to watch as they built their nest together and in what I thought was an awesome location. All I needed to do was look out the window there I could see their daily happenings- with the anticipation of and possibility of their young hatching. How awesome would that be.

The location of their nest was along a wall of the garage and where the house meet; picture if you will an L shape and there nestled in ferns and hostas - on a small tree a nest was fashioned.
Their nest was barely noticeable from the front walk or even the step into the house. You had to know what you were looking for and for most, the nest had to be pointed out.

I did my best being very careful as not to disturb them even when weeding around the general area. Oh the weeds! I really can't take it anymore with the weeds. Our yard was so beautiful, but it is what it is! My cousin suggested that I put a signs up here and there letting others know that's why I've let the weeds take over. "BIRDS ARE NESTING;" Humm - I wonder? The coolest thing about watching the Catbirds were how they seemed to get used to me, however, they still remained somewhat secretive.

One night I was letting the dogs out for the last time before bed and could smell a skunk in the vicinity. Yuck! and then it immediately got me thinking the Catbirds! I looked out front and didn't see any movement and the smell was still somewhat faint. I kept hoping the Catbirds would be safe. Skunks are a part of the weasel family and might be good for some things like keeping the rodent population down but, if they have the opportunity they'll eat birds also; as well as their eggs or young. So I check and made a bit of noise hoping to send the skunk into another direction and went to bed.

Morning came around and looking outside I was heart broken - the nest was torn apart and with no sign of the Catbirds! I'm and avid birdwatcher, I've even been known to joke sometimes about things - for example, I love using Clint Eastwood's line but change a word at the end - "I know things about birds." But truthfully - I love learning about things that interest me. However, after watching birds and collecting old nests I've often wondered why some birds build nests so poorly or in a spot that is not really that safe. And; as I ponder these thoughts - the Lord always shows me that we can learn a lot from watching birds.

One scripture has come to mind: Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;

So many times we trust in our own devices to make our house a home failing to see that the Lord is not in it. We get wrapped up in the world and further away from the One who's shelter keeps us safe. As with some birds the nest is to flimsy. It's fashioned with weak small twigs and grasses barely woven together - from a distance it looks great but up close you will see it barely sets on a limb and surely is not safe from storm or enemy. Even up close and sitting in the nest the bird will often feel safe oblivious to the dangers around, believing no harm will come - maybe even hoping. But, a bird doesn't think so he continues to build as he doesn't not knowing any different.

Is your house a home the Lord has built? Even if you haven't a house where do you place your trust? Corrie Ten Boon didn't have a house that she lived in that was hers, even in prison she looked to the Lord - He was her hiding place a shelter from the storms and evils that came her way.
Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me from trouble; Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield;

Recently, I was part of a discussion on Facebook about some of the quizzes that people take and the negative effects it may have on some people. I was the one who started it by a statement (my opinion) I posted on my status. Even though the opinions of a few taking part in the discussion held firm to their belief "the quizzes are just for fun" and made up of others on Facebook; I believe I failed to get a point across. That it might not be harmful to some - but where it can be harmful - is when it reinforces how poorly those taking the quizzes see themselves. To my surprise (but not really) those who couldn't seem to grasp what I was saying were those I believed had a understanding of "unless the Lord build your house - they labor in vain who build it." This was the general consensus of some; though having the discussion with others not on Facebook and those I would consider having a belief in God but not a walk, understood the point I was making. It wasn't very pretty and that's alright. One comment was even made and I had to believe it was directed towards me was, they didn't care for "those who hide behind the Lord and the Bible to make their points or to convict others of wrong doing." I was not doing either just had an opinion of the possible harms.

To you out there reading don't take offense at what I'm writing I'm only trying to make a point on today's post of the importance of hiding in the Lord.

Like the Gray Catbirds I was watching they needed a safer shelter; a hiding place from the enemy and storms around them. When you allow the Lord (not fighting Him every step) to build your house it is a home. He does become that shelter and hiding place that you so seek from things in this world that can and will harm you.

Psalm 31:20 Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence from the conspiracies of man; Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

When you are in His hiding place you are with Him, David said "hide me in the shadow of Your wings." You are close. When you are close you learn because that's who you are spending your most intimate time with.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

How wonderful are Your ways oh Lord! Isn't this where you want to be? I've had trails of my own and He is the only one who's been there to get me through. I've had to hid in the shelter He has for me. I don't like the trails but grateful non- the same.

Are you in His hiding place;
that shelter He has for you?
Those of you who know Him;
You know what to do.
And,If you don't know Him;
He's there for you too.
All you do is ask Him -
He'll show Himself to you.

VLB 07/12/09



Let me know what you think about this or other posts, I'd love to hear from you.

The site below is a good one to check out this bird as well as other you may be interested in.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/gray_catbird/lifehistory

Things you might not know about skunks:
http://www.projectwildlife.org/living-skunks.htm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is just soooo awesome how you knew the type of bird the catbird was, even though you're sure you've never heard of that. So weird! And oh my goodness, your pictures look like they came out of professional magazines. I'm telling you, you could submit that bird photo and win something I'm sure!!!
Love,
Your daughter-in-law Dannielle