Christian Chicks and Mama Ducks {Faith Life Preservers-Day 15}

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“‘If you can’?” said Jesus.
“Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Mark 9:23

I am leaving the church Sunday feeling full of God and loved all through to my inner most parts, when I am stopped by a Sister in Christ who is is determined to give me a word of encouragement.
She asks how our family is doing and holds my arms seeking my eyes with firm gentleness.
I glance at the car, see my hubby, daughter and her friend waiting.
They know when we Christian chicks pause to talk, well there is no stopping us.
She holds me fast.
She asks if she has ever shared the story of the ducks with me?
Um, no. I know she hasn’t, and am remembering the dad who is picking up
his daughter after church at our house.
 I’m all ears, waiting to hear what she will say.
We live close by and after all,
 it’s good to pause when wisdom taps you on
the shoulder and asks to whisper in your ear.

She tells me of a difficult season she had with her own daughter 
and how she was driving on the highway one day, when she noticed a traffic jam.
As she strains to see what all of the commotion is over, she catches the 
cause of gridlock in her view.
Before her eyes, stopping traffic,
is a mama duck leading her ducklings across the lanes of now stopped traffic.
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She speaks fast and clear that God spoke to her clearly that day.
That the Mama Duck walked and the baby ducks followed. 
She said God’s message was that she should keep walking
stand firm and believe without looking back.
It was a message of trusting God and believing for what is to be, 
though is not yet.

You see lately I find myself looking back a lot to the times when
things were different.
 Sometimes when we look back, we don’t see clearly, friends.
Pain, difficult circumstances and suffering can blur our vision.

I confess:
I am Israel, looking back fearfully at Pharaoh’s fierce army, pursuing hard.
I am Israel, angry with God for the miracle I can’t see yet.
I am Israel cursing and questioning why I have been led to this place in the desert to die.
I am Israel doubting my God is good. 
Yet these same people witnessed God destroy the enemy that pursued them.
I am Israel and I bow down to the same God they sang to on that day.
I am Israel and I hope in The One True Living God,
who revealed His fullness in a man,
Yehoshua (יהושע).
Jesus.
Messiah.

I needed that message of hope and encouragement, friend.
Perhaps you need it too.
Have you ever received the gift of an encouraging word
that planted hope in your heart at the time 
you needed it (even if you did not know you needed it!)
from a sister in Christ or fellow mom?
We Christian chicks and mothers need to find other 
 mama ducks who might benefit from a word in season 
or promise of hope. 

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, 
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24
A Faith Life Preserver is an act, kind deed, word or anything
that keeps your faith from sinking. It is a sighting, an unexpected gift,
a gentle but needed reproach, a prayer.

31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012
See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.
Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE!

Just When You Think Your Ducks Are Safe

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Now listen, you who say, 
“Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, 
carry on business and make money.” 
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. 
What is your life? 
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 
Instead, you ought to say, 
“If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 
As it is, you boast and brag. 
All such boasting is evil
There I am with my ducks lined up. 
I am starting to think that all things are possible. 
I’m so busy looking at my ducks and lining them up, 
I don’t realize my downward gaze. 
My shortsightedness. 
Well, they were lining up nicely. 
Until suddenly someone came and blew those little ducks right out of the water. 
I am standing, soaking wet feeling silly for my foolishness. 
Humbled in a moment.
 Why must it always come again and again to this? 
And there I am longing for heaven, right in the midst of the mess. 
Wondering how the messes seem to mold themselves into
 the perfect storm for the season of my life. 
I forget. 
Oh, I despise that I forget His promises in an instant.
 Forget He is sleeping just below deck. 
And I am watching the waves and cursing the storm, all to my shame.
 He rises and rebukes the wind and the waves, 
yet I am not so easily calmed.
Because ducks are supposed to line up, right?
Then I realize I have been so busy planning that it is 
Wednesday when I am reading my Monday devotional and dumbfounded, 
I read the words…
“You will not find my peace engaging in excessive planning: 
attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. 
That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief. “
~ Sarah Young in Jesus Calling
I sit straight, the words stinging me upright.
I absorb the blow.
Am awed and humbled.
I have been planning and lining up my ducks and missing something.
Unprepared, though He wanted to prepare me
 in my quiet time for the storm brewing, 
unknown to me.
The Eye of that storm Sunday, settled over our home by Tuesday 
and I was taken by surprise.
Because I was busy with my ducks. 
How they were lining up so nicely.
Now they seem so insignificant really.
Because the Maker of ducks and me, 
really is in the business of lining up the ducks just right.
And sometimes when I am lining them up, 
He needs to blow them right out of the water to set them aright.
I want it to be easier.
I want it to be neat.
I want those ducks in a row.
I want the peace that comes from my planning.
I want the security of seeing my ducks in a row.
Yet I know it cannot be so.
Because I am not guaranteed tomorrow.
And sometimes ducks are distracting.
So I lift my gaze to the one who has ducks, 
storms and all in the palm of His hand.
He leads me again and again lately to Psalm 121.
It’s as if He is really asking me to own it in my heart.
That I might truly believe from my core that which I profess. 
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Oh, Lord I know better.
Forgive my unbelief.
 Perfect love casts out fear. 
Help me believe where I doubt.
You are faithful.
You are perfect. You are love.
Lord, help me to trust You, in the weak places, 
where I rely on self instead of your grace.
May you help each one today who is trusting in anything 
else but your grace, to be free of that which hinders them
whether, doubt, fear or unbelief. 
In Jesus Name. Amen. 

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