Our Shelter In Times Of Trouble
When the spring thaw finally comes, our cat Ozzie’s favorite thing to do is to go out on the front porch in the morning, and the back deck in the afternoon, to bask in the sunshine. He does pretty well minding the rule that he is not allowed off the porch or deck. We trained him that every time he steps off the permitted area he gets booted right back inside the house. But if I’m honest, it wasn’t hard to train him because what he lacks in motivation he makes up for in kibble. He’s 19 lbs. and not much of a go getter, so he is usually pretty content just watching the world from his perch.
As I usually do on those initial warm spring days, I opened the windows and doors to let the fresh air in. But on this particular day, loud exasperating chirps of a frantic robin caught my attention. Approaching the screen door, I see Ozzie, on the deck sitting motionless. Staring downward between the deck boards.
What is going on? I wonder as I step out to see what has this cat so entranced. Sure enough, from beneath the boards come the much quieter chirps of baby birds. There, in the slice of light between, Ozzie peers down to the little birds looking up from their nest below with naive hopes of their next meal.
Immediately my heart empathized. Not with the baby birds. They were safe. And obviously not with Ozzie, perplexed at how a tasty morsel could be so close and yet so far. No, my heart went out for that mother bird. Vainly trying to distract the cat from his sights being set on her little ones. Knowing how frantically she was striving to save herself and her babies from impending doom, I felt empathy.
I scooped up the fat cat who has now been quarantined to the front porch until the back deck robins are old enough to leave the nest. And I found myself wishing. If only the bird knew. If only she knew how safe her dwelling really is. If only she knew how powerless that stupid old cat really is against her wisely built shelter. In quick order I realized how often I should really know better as well.
Following her instincts placed in her by her Creator, she builds her house. And while Satan does indeed prowl around seeking for whom he may devour, we sometimes give him more credit than he is due. Does he have the power to unravel all that God is doing? Is he really strong and agile enough to invade a space where he is not welcome and God’s fortress protects? When we turn to God’s Word the resounding answer is - NO! For if God is for us, who can be against us?
My lesson was this: Know who has power and authority over your life. If Satan has been given a foothold, we have every reason to be fearful. But if Jesus truly stands as ruler of our lives, then we need not fear. Realize that the prayers of the saints are more effective than our shouts at the devil. We have a heavenly Father who counts you far more valuable than the sparrow, and He eagerly bends his ear to the song of a heartfelt cry.
Psalms 27:1- 5
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock."