Friday, March 23, 2012

Being less anxious!

It looks like a convention under my bird feeder this week with temperatures near 80 degrees in mid-March! I keep re-filling the birdbath, so my fine-feathered friends can splash, fluff up, fly away and swoop down for more. reports even warmer officially recorded winters and springs like this one, dating back to the late 1800’s. Weather cycles fascinate and puzzle us. Right now we’re hoping against a fickle spring that dips temperatures into the danger zone for the fruit trees! This warm weather is even affecting sap production from the maple trees, so guess what happens to syrup prices? We’ve been fooled by the weather before.

I look at the birds outside my window and wonder if I should warn them not to be fooled, maybe not put all their eggs in one nest! They wouldn’t understand. A Sunday School song comes to mind. “His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me!” The birds will be fine. Their marvelous mystery of managing has captivated people since the beginning of time. God knows. He designed them to eat right without reading labels, to go south when north winds blow and to flock together with birds of a feather! They’re not worried, just enjoying their Maker’s world.

He cares even more for us, the humans He lovingly created one by one! Jesus’ disciple, Peter, wrote, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 That’s worth heeding right now as we face massive unemployment and businesses closing down; as we watch our savings downsize and our expenses upsize. Feeding on that, without trusting God’s provision, can make us anxious! We need to be wise, of course, about living our lives and managing our money. But just as God assures us we can “Be anxious for nothing,” He provides the how-to’s with that. He invites us to feed, like the birds outside my window, as often as we need to at the “feeder” of His Word! We can dive in to the Bible and bathe in His love as we feed on His promises. Our weather issues are less about the barometer and more about “whether” or not things go as we hope and how we’ll cope. And there’s God …with His daily enabling through the faith He gives us in His Son. He’s specific about how to live and think and act. Whatever we face is covered in this kind of “feeding.”

I won’t bother the birds with the forecast. I can’t communicate with them, except to offer food and water. Unless I become a bird, and I won’t even TRY to worm myself into THAT scenario. Seriously, thank God He didn’t simply offer food and water after He created us. He went much further, to communicate His love for us. And He didn’t just “try,” He became one of us! This Lenten season we ponder the extremes God went to in saving us from ourselves, our sins, through His Son’s saving work on the Cross. Look how elated we are over the flowers and leaves coming out of dead-looking branches and ground this spring. But even more awesome is that Jesus came out from the tomb, was raised from really dead, not just dead-looking. That’s the ultimate victory over sin, death and the power of satan. And He did it for you and for me. We can’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. We simply receive it by His grace through faith.

To the Christian, God offers the forgiving, life giving “feast” of the Lord’s Supper and food by feeding on His Holy Word and the washing away of our sins through the waters of Holy Baptism. Go to that “feeder” and bathe in the SONshine of His Spirit and you will be anxious for a lot less and thankful for a lot more!

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