Friday, December 27, 2013

Red Cardinal Blessing

God sent this bright red cardinal into my backyard this morning to cheer my heart.  You might say, "Get real! You really think God sent that bird just for you?"  My answer is a joyful, "Yes, I do!"  And by the way, I praise His name for sending me this gift.  Here's how the story goes:

A few days ago in the morning, lots of birds were flitting around my backyard, including this cardinal (at least, I assume it was this one).  I snapped a some photos of various birds, but the cardinal would never sit still long enough and only showed up briefly.  This morning, I was feeling a bit down and as I was looking out the window at the bare winter trees, I spoke in my heart, "O God, it would be so nice to see that pretty little cardinal to lift my spirits."  A moment later, this little guy showed up and perched himself on a bare branch.  Not only that, but God commanded him to remain in that spot for several minutes so that I could get his picture and enjoy his beauty.

The prophet Isaiah records God speaking specifically about summoning a bird and sending him wherever He wished him to go:  "I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.  From the east I summon a bird..."  Isaiah 46:10-11.

I smile as I write this because it was indeed a direct answer to a simple prayer -- a small request really, but one that blessed my heart and once again indicates that the great God of all creation who keeps the planets in every universe spinning, cares enough about me to send a tiny red bird to my little ole backyard.  If that is not a wonder and a mercy and an indication of amazing grace, then I don't know what is!

One of my first thoughts when I saw this lovely spot of red in a gray tree on a gray day was that it reminds me of the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from every sin and covers our unworthiness with His wonderful righteousness.  "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience...Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds"  Hebrews 10:22 & 24.  And to go even a bit deeper, that blood was shed on a bare tree.  Just thought of that.

Don't be afraid to ask God for little things as well as the big things.  He delights in showing His children that He loves them and cares for every aspect of our lives.  Since our heavenly Father is all-powerful, He has the ability to send all manner of surprises and blessings our way.  Just make sure you don't miss it by neglecting to notice.  His blessings can show up in the strangest places -- even on the bare branches of a simple tree.

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