Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Under the Eaves

Last week I was stretching my hands to the sky, not in praise, but in paint.  I was reaching for the highest peak of the house when a little bird hopped on the roof and poked its head over at me, turning this way and that.  My husband had just taken the screen off the vent to the attic moments before, and within this small pocket of time, that little bird had decided the vent was the perfect place to build a nest.

I went in the house to wash out my caked up brush.  At my return there were already twigs hanging from the vent, a busy bird, and a raucous of chatter going on with its mate.  But this posed a problem because the vent is directly above the front entrance to my house.  I didn't want bird feathers or droppings making their way onto my brand new steps, or the heads of visitors.  My husband began talking to the birds telling them to shoo, to get along now, and to build their nest somewhere else.  But the birds were insistent and before my husband had time to get the screen back up, a nest had begun.

I have to wonder, what am I insisting on in my life, what am I forcing, that does not fit into God's overall purpose?  He is building this home and sees the bigger picture of the beauty it can become and the visitors that may be influenced.  But like that bird, I flit around in a tizzy of anxiety as I try to make something work in a place God never intended.  There are some wonderful trees nearby and even other eaves of the house that would provide perfect nesting, so why do these birds insist on building in this spot?

In the same way, I believe God gives us freedom to live and move within His boundaries, yet sometimes we insist on making our lives fit into a certain expectation and it leaves us frustrated.  Lately I've been struggling with bouts of depression.  I feel like the darkness has engulfed me and settled in to stay awhile, like a heavy fog.  It seems everything my hands touch turns into failure and my will to fight is waning.  How I wish I could fly away to a place of refuge, somewhere safe from expectations.  But instead my mistakes roll over and over in my mind where they shout loudest in the night.

I've been reading the book of Job lately, and never have I related to his words so acutely.  But unlike Job, I'm not going through any big outward crisis.  I've not really experienced any huge tragedy.  But the war in my mind has been intense.  I can see now why the sparrow makes its home under the eaves of a house.  It is such a sheltered place, a world all its own.  Traffic on the street can go by unawares, noise is muffled, and people on the sidewalk miss it completely.  As I sit at the top of a ladder, half hidden by house, painting to my heart's content, I find it a soothing respite. 

I know God cares for the sparrow and that He cares for me even more.  But lately I've had a hard time realizing that on the inside.  Meanwhile, God's been nudging my heart, through many different sources, to look to Him.  If I raise my downcast heart upward in worship, then maybe these cares will slide right off. . . maybe they will take care of themselves.  But I don't feel much like worship.  I guess that's why its called a sacrifice of praise. 

And so this week I'm making a concerted effort to fix my eyes on Jesus, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.  Because under the eaves of the house I gained a different perspective and under the wings of God is a place of refuge, a new vantage point.  I think if I can get back under His wings that I will find a soothing comfort for my sadness.  I'm hoping life will make more sense from there. 

My husband read a verse at the breakfast table that I think was for me, "He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  Phil. 1:6  And another verse from the cover of our church bulletin, "The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God."  Isa. 52:10  I am beyond the point of saving myself, but God's mighty arm, it can dip deep into my thoughts and deliver me.  Say to the weary one, your God will surely come.  Surely.  I like that word.  Without a doubt, He will come and save me from myself.  So I look to Him. 

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