Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sleeping Beauty Bird

This Blue and Gold Macaw lives at the zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida.  His brightly colored feathers look so soft, you just want to reach out and touch them.  Since that's not allowed in a zoo, I just zoomed in and captured a close-up of this sleeping bird.  Besides, that sharp beak looks like a dangerous weapon to me.  My motto -- let sleeping dogs -- and birds -- lie, or maybe perch, whatever - just keep me away from that beak!

It seems so appropriate to call this bird Sleeping Beauty since (a) he is very beautiful and (b) his eyes are closed and I assume he is sleeping.  But -- what spiritual message to cull from such a scene?

Without meaning to be too obvious, we as Christians are (a) very beautiful to our heavenly Father and (b) can sometimes be found with our eyes closed - spiritually speaking - and sleeping.  Let me elaborate:

In Romans 10:15, prompted by the inspiration of God, Paul says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" 

Then in Psalm 139:14, the word beautiful is not used, but the meaning of the verse shows it:  "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." 

Then there is the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11:  "He has made everything beautiful in its own time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men..."

So, we can see that we as beloved children of our Abba Father, are considered beautiful in His sight -- a happy assurance indeed. 

The next issue concerns having our eyes closed and sleeping.  We all need a good night's sleep, but that's not what we're talking about here.  This bird is sleeping in the middle of the day, in a public place, and puts itself in a vulnerable position.  Do we as Christians ever succumb to such a situation?

Let's see what the Bible says about inappropriate sleep in the book of Proverbs:  "Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare" verse 13.

"How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit..." 6:9-11.

So - we've seen the importance of being confident in the love of our Father who thinks we are beautiful, and of being alert and awake when we are to be busy about His work.  There are times, however, when sleep is our friend and God Himself blesses us with wonderful rest as in these verses in Psalm:

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" 4:8.

"Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" 121:4.

Praise to God that He is ever vigilant, watching over us, loving us, protecting us -- and giving us the sleep we need, when we need it.  Sweet dreams!

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