“The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
My favorite bird is the male cardinal with his bright red feathers. I had one for years by my house that I could stand outside on my deck and if I repeated his whistle, he would come to me. I am sure my neighbors loved it! “Honey, close the windows! There goes Jill with her bird call imitations again!” 🙂 As I whistled back his song, he would sit on a tree branch or on the fence looking at me and I bet pretty confused because I was not the female cardinal he was expecting!
I love that the cardinal is a year round bird here in Michigan. I know that this sounds strange, but when I see a cardinal it reminds me that God loves me and He is here. It is a code between God and me that when I see a male cardinal, I am reminded of His presence and His care for me. There are days when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed (Sarah’s non-stop crying can do that to person!) and I see a cardinal. I know it is not by accident. It is the Lord reminding me of Himself and not to be afraid or discouraged of what I am facing in life.
This was especially true just a few weeks ago. While I knew God was calling me to leave my job, I was sick to my stomach the day I was to hand in my notice. Going out on faith is not always easy or comfortable! While my stomach sank, my heart was pounding hard inside my chest as I drove to work. Every song, I repeat, every song on the radio that morning was about how God is with us or goes before us. After the third song, tears came streaming down my face as I knew it was His way of encouraging me. Then I arrived at work. When I stepped out of my car I could tell my legs were shaking, and then I heard it, a cardinal singing his song. It sounds so silly, but it meant so much to me as I stood in that parking lot. Tears welled up as I whispered, “Thank You.” It was just the reassurance and confirmation I needed before I walked into the office.
What I also love about a male cardinal is that he is easy to spot, if you are looking for him. In this never ending winter of 2014, his red appearance stands out if you keep your eyes open. Just like with the Lord! If you quiet your heart and look for Him, you see His Hand everywhere!
I am on the lookout for this bird. I repeat his words. I realize he is always around me. Funny, how one of God’s creations reminds you of what you need to do! I need to be on the lookout for Christ in my daily activities; I need to repeat His Words (and apply them to my life) and remember that He, no matter what I am facing, is always with me!
Excuse me; I need to practice my bird call…. 🙂